Monday, 15 October 2012

On this Day: 15th October 1962, Missiles Confirmed in Cuba- Crisis Deepens

15th October 1962, Missiles Confirmed in Cuba- Crisis Deepens

Tensions between the United States and Russia had escalated during August 1962, following unsuccessful operations by the US to overthrow the Cuban regime at the Bay of Pigs. In response the Cuban and Soviet governments secretly began to build bases in Cuba for a number of medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic nuclear missiles (MRBMs and IRBMs) with the ability to strike most of the continental United States.

On October 15, the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center reviewed photographs taken by U-2 reconnaissance planes and identified medium range ballistic missiles at an SS-4 construction site at San Cristóbal, Pinar del Río Province, in western Cuba.

What ensued was a flurry of diplomatic positions and on the 22nd October 1962 at 7:00 pm EDT, President Kennedy delivered a nation-wide televised address on all of the major networks announcing the discovery of the missiles.
“It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.”

Kennedy described the administration's plan:
“To halt this offensive buildup, a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated. All ships of any kind bound for Cuba, from whatever nation or port, will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back.”  

Research courtesy of Wikipedia

Image courtesy of The U.S. National Archives under The Commons agreement on Flickr.


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