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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cuban Missile Crisis: October 28, 1962

Fifty years ago today, the United States marked the final day of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Two years ago, Andrew Glass wrote at Politico:
On this day in 1962, the Cuban missile crisis, which threatened to start a superpower war, came to a close when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agreed to remove 42 intermediate-range nuclear missiles from Cuba. For its part, Washington promised not to invade the Communist island, while pledging (secretly) to dismantle its own missiles in Italy and Turkey.
At the Council on Foreign Relations, James M. Lindsay writes:
Confident that the crisis was headed to a peaceful and satisfactory conclusion, Kennedy called former presidents Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower. He told them only what was in the news. He didn’t tell them about the secret promise he had made to remove the Jupiter missiles from Turkey. The former presidents not surprisingly applauded Kennedy’s skill in forcing Khrushchev to capitulate.
Not everyone one was pleased that the missile crisis had been resolved peacefully. Fidel Castro was outraged. He would later lead his fellow Cubans in chants of “Nikita, mariquita, lo que se da no se quita!” (“Nikita, you little homosexual, what is given should not be taken back!”)
None of that was a concern for JFK. After calling presidents Truman and Eisenhower, he turned to his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and invoked the memory of Abraham Lincoln. “This is the night I should go to the theater,” said the president. RFK replied, “If you go, I want to go with you.”