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Ike Speaks Out on Cuba

Apr. 27, 1963 - Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower said yesterday that only a “genius and prophet” could have known for sure that Cuban Premier Fidel Castro (pictured with Vice President Nixon in 1959) was a Communist in the 1950s. Gen. Eisenhower made the statement at a joint press conference with his brother, Dr. Milton Eisenhower, in reply to questions about remarks by President Kennedy that Castroism might have been easier to squelch in the 1950s than it is now. The former President called speculation along those lines “fruitless” and said it was impossible to be sure that Castro was a Communist until he publicly declared himself one in 1961. “Until we knew he was, we had to avoid interfering with the sovereignty of another American country. We were bound by treaty to that,” Gen. Eisenhower said. Gen. Eisenhower refused to be drawn into a direct evaluation of President Kennedy’s Cuban policy. He spoke at the Beverly Hills Hotel before a dinner of the Southern California Alumni Association of Johns Hopkins University, at which the former President was an honored guest.

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