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Castro Talks Tough

Oct. 23, 1962 - Premier Fidel Castro said today that the U.S. blockade of Cuba was the act of a pirate and declared that anyone who tried to carry out an arms inspection in Cuba “had better come ready for combat.” The Cuban leader rejected President Kennedy’s charges that the Soviet-supported military build-up in Cuba was a threat to the Western Hemisphere. And he ruled out any attempt by an international commission to investigate Mr. Kennedy’s charges of Soviet missile bases in Cuba. “Our arms are defensive,” he said in a televised 90-minute speech. “We will acquire the arms we feel like acquiring, and we don’t have to give an account to the imperialists. Cuba has the right to arm itself and defend itself, and we have had to do so. What would have occurred if we had not been armed at the time of Giron Beach?” The reference was to the scene of the 1961 invasion of Cuba. Castro charged that President Kennedy was following the same policies that Hitler used leading to World War II. He called U.S. measures against the Cuban revolution an “uninterrupted chain of failures” and asserted: “We are stronger than ever in these moments.”


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