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JFK: Military Action on Cuba Unjustified Right Now

Sept. 13, 1962 - President Kennedy said today that the U.S. would move swiftly against Cuba to defend its security, but military action now was neither required nor justified. In an introductory statement at his news conference, the President said that the Cuban economy was crumbling as a result of Premier Fidel Castro’s “own monumental economic mismanagement” and the economic boycott by the U.S. In this situation, the President declared, Castro is frantically trying to bolster his regime by charging that an American invasion is imminent. The President strongly criticized “loose talk” in this country about possible military action by the U.S. He expressed the hope that the historical record would show “that the only people talking about a war and invasion at this time are the Communist spokesmen in Moscow and Havana, and that the American people, defending as we do so much of the free world, will, in this nuclear age, as they have in the past, keep both their nerve and their head.” The President said surveillance of the area would be increased. He added that Congress and the American people would be kept informed and would be notified when “an offensive threat does exist."

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