August 16th., 1997
Report: Castro fond of missiles
.c The Associated Press
PARIS (AP) - Fidel Castro spoke of ``an incredible love'' for the
missiles that brought on America's Cuban missile crisis, and wanted to
even after the Soviets agreed to remove them, according to documents
In a speech to the Central Committee of Cuba's Communist Party in
years after the missile crisis, Castro admitted to laughing with his
even as the possibility of nuclear war loomed, the documents published by
French daily Le Monde also showed.
Le Monde said Castro's account of the crisis just 90 miles from U.S.
was provided to the newspaper by Vincent Touze, a French academic and
the missile crisis.
The missile crisis became public Oct. 22, 1962, when President Kennedy
revealed to the American people that the Soviet Union had secretly
nuclear missiles in Cuba.
Six days later, after the crisis brought the two superpowers nearer to
nuclear confrontation than at any other time during the Cold War, Soviet
Nikita Khrushchev agreed to withdraw the weapons.
Castro, who had little control over the situation, said he dearly
keep the missiles, which he saw as a super weapon for any battle with the
States, Le Monde said.
``We defended these missiles with affection, with an incredible love.
were fighting for the first time almost on equal terms with an enemy that
threatened and provoked us unceasingly,'' Castro said in his report to the
When Soviet advisers came to Cuba in summer 1962 to discuss the
Castro suggested that the Kremlin deploy 1,000 missiles and was chagrined
told that only about 40 would be installed, according to Le Monde's
As the tension mounted and it appeared the Soviets would capitulate,
argued that a nuclear strike should be launched if the United States
According to the documents, Castro said the country was calm and he
admitted to laughing even as the possibility of nuclear war loomed.
``We didn't envisage lightly the idea we could disappear. ...It was a
interesting fact because we were in the antechamber of the holocaust and
telling jokes,'' the documents quoted Castro as saying.
``Evidently, we knew that we were going to be made to play the role of
death, but we were determined to play it,'' Castro told the Central
Castro said Cuba had placed great faith in the Soviets but soon lost
confidence in its ally. He said the Kremlin had botched the situation,
called a ``disaster.''
Castro said he had wanted to inform the United States about the
before reconnaissance planes spotted them but was overruled by Khrushchev.
also professed to be shocked they were not camouflaged and suggested the
had overlooked that on purpose.
However, Castro admitted his government had been naive, confessing
nobody in the Cuban leadership even knew what the nuclear missiles looked
although the weapons were accepted ``without hesitation.''
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