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Highlights from President Kennedy’s Press Conference

Apr. 3, 1963 - Following are highlights of President Kennedy’s press conference today:

Cuba — The President estimated that 9,000 Soviet troops had left Cuba since November and that 12,000 to 13,000 remained. “He would not criticize” Cuban exile raiders, who have been firing on Soviet ships, but he believed their actions were “ineffective,” might appear to justify the continued presence of Russian troops, and might draw the U.S. into military action.

Mississippi — He said he hoped a Federal court would find there had been a denial of voter registration rights in Greenwood, Miss. “We have a suit which we launched against the denial of the rights of the voters, and that is due for a hearing very shortly. I would hope the court would find that there has been a denial of rights, which seems to me evident, but which the court must decide.”

Spending — Commenting on former President Eisenhower’s criticism that his budget is too big and that money is being wasted in the space effort, Mr. Kennedy countered with a criticism of the Eisenhower economic record. He said it had two recessions, the highest unemployment rate in history, and the highest peacetime deficit in history.

Middle East — He said the work of West German scientists on Egyptian weapons development did “affect tensions in the Middle East.” He said the U.S. would strongly oppose the introduction of nuclear weapons by any country in the Middle East.

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