JFK refused to bomb Cuba, negotiated peaceful outcome to the Missile Crisis, was reopening US - Cuba diplomatic relations

Cuban Missile Crisis 1962

the closest we got to nuclear war
President Kennedy refused the Generals' advice to attack Cuba

The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest the world has gotten to nuclear war. Understanding how nuclear war was averted in October, 1962 is crucial for shifting the world away from permanent war.

A good introduction to the Cuban Missile Crisis is the film "Thirteen Days, " starring Kevin Costner. Part of the dialogue is based on secret taping of Oval Office conversations, including of the generals who wanted nuclear war instead of the compromise that Kennedy and Krushchev made to defuse the crisis.

An earlier film "The Missiles of October" was made for television in the 1970s. It had a much lower production budget than Thirteen Days and also did not have as much declassified information to base the film upon.


in these present days of strain, it is well to remember that no country's leader supported the U.S. more forcefully than did France. General de Gaulle said, "It is exactly what I would have done," adding that it was not necessary to see the photographs [of the missile sites in Cuba], as "a great government such as yours does not act without evidence."
-- Robert F. Kennedy
, "Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis," originally published 1968, reissued in Norton paperback 1999, pp. 40-41
(it's hard to imagine the same credibility for US government claims, now)


How My Father And President Kennedy Saved The World
25 min read
The Cuban Missile Crisis as seen from the Kremlin
Sergei Khrushchev
October 2002


PBS Video: Three Men Go To War
October 23, 2012


Thank you Vasili Arkhipov, the man who stopped nuclear war
Fifty years ago, Arkhipov, a senior officer on the Soviet B-59 submarine, refused permission to launch its nuclear torpedo
Edward Wilson, Saturday 27 October 2012


Secrets of the Dead: The Man Who Saved the World

"the person who prevented a nuclear war was a Russian submariner, Vasili Arkhipov."





National Archives exhibit (with online version)

To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis


Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Eyeball to Eyeball: The Inside (Photographic) Story of the Cuban Missile Crisis
Presenter: Mr. Dino Brugioni (former senior official, National Photographic Interpretation Center)
Friday, October 19
7:30 pm, Eastern Daylight TIme (with live webcast)
Airbus IMAX Theater
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA






Cuban Missile Crisis: the other, secret one

Cubans remember missile crisis "victory"


On November 22, 1963, Cuban leader Fidel Castro met with French journalist Jean Daniel in his office in Havana. Daniel had just met with President Kennedy and was his emissary to discuss resumption of US Cuban diplomatic relations. When the news of Kennedy's assassination arrived, Castro said it changed everything and the potential opening between the two countries did not happen. Shortly afterwards, Castro gave a typically lengthy speech pointing out that the assassination had been done by the American right wing, a correct observation.

President Obama finally normalized diplomatic relations with Cuba a half century after Kennedy's initiative, but media coverage of Obama's opening ignored the missed opportunity of 1963. Even the "alternative" liberal / left / progressive media did not discuss the planned normalization aborted by JFK's removal from office.



Castro's speech the day after President Kennedy's assassination, noting that Oswald looked like an intelligence agent, not a leftist


Concerning the Facts and Consequences
of the Tragic Death of
President John F. Kennedy
November 23rd, 1963

by Fidel Castro




When Castro Heard The News,” by Jean Daniel, New Republic (December 7, 1963), pp. 7-9, and “Unofficial Envoy: An Historic Report From Two Capitals, ” by Jean Daniel, New Republic (December 14, 1963), pp. 15-20.

The story of Kennedy’s quest to negotiate with Castro on a new U.S.-Cuban relationship is told by Cuba’s then-UN ambassador Carlos Lechuga in his book In the Eye of the Storm: Castro, Khrushchev, Kennedy, and the Missile Crisis (Ocean Press, 1995) and by U.S. diplomat William Attwood in The Reds and the Blacks; A Personal Adventure (Harper & Row, 1967) and The Twilight Struggle: Tales of the Cold War (Harper & Row, 1987).

See also: Document 367. Memorandum by William Attwood and Document 374. Memorandum From William Attwood to Gordon Chase of the National Security Council Staff, New York, November 8, 1963, from FRUS, 1961-1963, Volume XI, Cuban Missile Crisis and Aftermath, October 1962-December 1963 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1997); “Kennedy Sought Dialogue with Cuba – Initiative With Castro Aborted by Assassination, Declassified Documents Show,” The National Security Archive, November 24, 2003.]


JFKMoon.org - by Mark Robinowitz - updated December 17, 2017