Thursday, October 23, 2008


Forty six years ago on this day, this is how the venerable London newspaper, The Times, reported events in the far-off Caribbean:

“President Kennedy tonight said that he has ordered a partial blockade of all ships of any kind, from whatever nation or port. They would be turned back if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons. This urgent transformation of Cuba into an important strategic base constituted an explicit threat to the peace and security of all the Americas and contradicted the repeated assurances of the Soviets.”

Of course, John F Kennedy, who thought (correctly) that he had no choice but to stand up to the Soviets, is long gone to another world.

So, too, the Soviet protagonists of the time, including then Communist Party boss Nikita Khrushchev, who blinked at the last minute, averting (correctly) a potentially devastating nuclear war between the super-powers.

But Fidel Castro - who continually urged the Russians to stop pussyfooting around and launch those damn nuclear missiles against the Americans - is still alive if not all that well, from what we hear.

That’s history for you ...


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