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realclearworld

The missiles in Cuba: “Se fueron los cohetes pero se quedo Castro”!

We sat around my father's Phillips radio, or the one with a short wave band.   By the way, this radio was a lifeline to international news.

My father purchased it because it was one of the first FM models to be available in Cuba.  However, it was the short wave band that became the radio's primary feature.

Our place was very close to "El Malecon", the legendary Havana ocean drive avenue.  We had a feeling that something was going on because it was full of "milicianos" with anti-aircraft weapons.

We heard Persident Kennedy (translated to Spanish) say that there were missiles in Cuba:

"In a dramatic televised address to the American public, President John F. Kennedyannounces that the Soviet Union has placed nuclear weapons in Cuba and, in response, the United States will establish a blockade around the island to prevent any other offensive weapons from entering Castro's state. Kennedy also warned the Soviets that any nuclear attack from Cuba would be construed as an act of war, and that the United States would retaliate in kind."

Looking back, I have a couple of questions.

First, why didn't President Kennedy tell the Soviets to take Castro out with the missiles?  My guess is that the Soviets would have asked:  Do we take him out dead or alive?  The Soviets were overextended in October 1962.  We held all of the cards and should have demanded Castro's exit.

Second, why don't we ever talk about the impact on the people Cuba?  The Missile Crisis was followed by more and more repression, brutality against the guerillas in Escambray and the consolidation ofthe Castro dictatorship.

As someone said:  "Se fueron los cohetes pero se quedo Castro"!

P.S. We discussed the speech and that night with Bill Katz of Urgent Agenda who was working with the CIA at that time..

Click here to listen!

 

1 comment to The missiles in Cuba: “Se fueron los cohetes pero se quedo Castro”!

  • asombra

    JFK simply wanted a deal the Soviets would accept so he could get himself out of the jam looking reasonably good. What the deal meant for Cuba, Cubans and their future was at best a secondary issue, if any. JFK's image and political future were the overriding concerns.