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The October Missile Crisis, 55 Years Later

For the average American citizen, and most of humanity subjected to the US media dictatorship, the origin of the Missile Crisis in October 1962 is that the Soviet Union decided to place missiles with atomic warheads in Cuba to threaten U.S.

But in order to understand the reason for the October Crisis, it is necessary to assess its antecedents. This is because, in the different versions of the circumstances one can understand the real reasons for the presence of the missiles in Cuba and, without that, it is not possible to understand the crisis itself.

It was the continued aggression of the United States against the island and the dangers that these actions foreshadowed because of Kennedy’s conviction that Cuba had to be charged on a large scale by the defeat of Playa Giron, where the extreme cause of tensions between the two countries.

The leadership of the Cuban revolution accepted the installation of the rockets as a measure to make Washington relinquish its plans for extreme violence against Cuba. They were convinced that in doing so they complied with a principle of internationalist solidarity with the socialist camp and, in particular, with the USSR.

On October 16, 1962, Washington drew up plans to militarily occupy Cuba and establish an interim government led by a “military commander and governor” of the United States during the 1962 missile crisis, according to recently declassified government documents issued one week by the National Security Archive (NSA) of George Washington University.

Proclamation number one of the Military Government that would have been constituted would establish that “every person who is in the occupied territory must obey immediately and without questions all the laws and orders promulgated by the military government”. He warned that “resistance to the United States Armed Forces will be punished with force. Offenders will be treated severely. ” He said, however, that “those who remain peaceful and fulfill all the orders of the military command, will be subjected to a repression no greater that prescribed by the military exigencies”.

The proclamation stated that “once Castro’s aggressive regime is completely destroyed” and Washington has installed a new government “that responds to the needs of the people of Cuba”, US forces “will withdraw and the traditional friendship of the United States and the government of Cuba will be assured once again. “

Cuban and American historians are preparing a book to be published by Editorial GEO, from the Cuban History Institute, with abundant original documents and maps. It’s edited by American journalists William Burr and Peter Kornbluh, who provide abundant information about that event which put the world on the brink of a third world war.

To prepare the Cuban population for the invasion, the US military planned to launch thousands of leaflets on Cuban cities and fields. Initially the leaflets would report that “the US military has temporarily taken over their country.” Then they would warn the population that “they should stay inside their houses” because “everything that moves will be considered a target of our bullets.”

On 28 October, final preparations for the US invasion and occupation of Cuba were halted when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev announced that he was withdrawing the missiles from the island. That decision was, according to US media sources, the result of a secret agreement, under which the Soviet missiles in Cuba would be withdrawn in exchange for President Kennedy’s commitment to remove US Jupiter missiles from Turkey.

“The settlement of the missile crisis certainly avoided what would have become the bloodiest military confrontation in Latin American history, between the ‘Northern Colossus’ and a revolutionary Caribbean nation,” according to Peter Kornbluh, who heads the Cuba documentation project at the National Security Archives.

Ignored by the US intelligence community, according to Kornbluh, was the fact that, “in addition to intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Soviets had transported tactical field nuclear weapons to Cuba and planned to deploy them against an invading US force.”

Documents related to the Cuban occupation were recently obtained by the NSA-accredited archival analyst, William Burr, by formulating a series of petitions to the United States Navy, as established for the Re-declassification Requests Mandatory (MDR).

A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.

More articles by:

Manuel E. Yepe is a lawyer, economist and journalist. He is a professor at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana.

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