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🚨JFK Imposes “Quarantine” on Cuba to Block Delivery of Soviet Missiles

Oct. 22, 1962 - President Kennedy imposed a naval and air “quarantine” tonight on the shipment of offensive military equipment to Cuba. In a speech of extraordinary gravity, he told the American people that the Soviet Union, contrary to promises, was building offensive missile and bomber bases in Cuba. He said the bases could handle missiles carrying nuclear warheads up to 2,000 miles. A critical moment in the cold war is at hand tonight. The President had decided on a direct confrontation with — and challenge to — the power of the Soviet Union. Two aspects of the speech were notable. One was its direct thrust at the Soviet Union as the party responsible for the crisis. Mr. Kennedy treated Cuba and the Government of Premier Fidel Castro as a mere pawn in Moscow’s hands and drew the issue as one with the Soviet Government. The President, in language of unusual bluntness, accused the Soviet leaders of deliberately “false statements about their intentions in Cuba.” The other notable aspect of the speech was its flat commitment by the U.S. to act alone against the missile threat in Cuba. The President made it clear that this country would not stop short of military action to end what he called a “clandestine, reckless, and provocative threat to world peace.”


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