Document A: Letter From Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy
Moscow, October 27, 1962.
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT,
I understand your concern for the security of the United States…
You wish to ensure the security of your country, and this is understandable. But
Cuba, too, wants the same thing; all countries want to maintain their security. But
how are we, the Soviet Union, to [understand] the fact that you have surrounded
the Soviet Union with military bases; surrounded our allies with military bases;
placed military bases literally around our country; and stationed your missile
armaments there? This is no secret. . . .Your missiles are located in Britain, are
located in Italy, and are aimed against us. Your missiles are located in Turkey.
You are disturbed over Cuba. You say that this disturbs you because it is 90
miles by sea from the coast of the United States of America. But you have placed
destructive missile weapons, which you call offensive, in Turkey, literally next to
I therefore make this proposal: We are willing to remove from Cuba the [missiles]
which you regard as offensive. Your representatives will make a declaration to
the effect that the United States, for its part, . . . will remove its [missiles] from
We, in making this pledge, will promise not to invade Turkey. . .The United States
Government will promise not to invade Cuba . . .
The greatest joy for all peoples would be the announcement of our agreement.