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Castro Calls Kennedy's Trade Ban "Economic Aggression"

Feb. 4, 1962 - Cuban Premier Fidel Castro charged today that the U.S. embargo on imports from Cuba was “another economic aggression.” In a 40-minute speech, Castro told a crowd in Havana that President Kennedy was “a shameless person, as he has been since he took office.” He ridiculed the U.S. decision to permit the continued shipment of food and medicine to Cuba. This is “hypocrisy,” the Cuban leader asserted. Castro warned the people that they must triple their efforts in industry, agriculture, and commerce to overcome the U.S. “blockade.” What Cubans can produce “will be sufficient,” he said. “We laugh at the desperation of the imperialist.” After the speech, messages from Communist countries were read. A message from Premier Khrushchev addressed Castro as “dear friend” and said the Soviet people expressed their solidarity and friendship. Other messages were from Communist China, East Germany, and North Korea.

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