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Kennedy Optimistic for 1963

Jan. 1, 1963 - President Kennedy believes the onrush of Communist influence in the world was checked in 1962 and that the outlook for peace is slightly better in 1963. He has cautioned his associates, however, that he does not yet see evidence of a softening of Soviet policy or a halt to the Communist desire for expansion. Three major confrontations that, in the President’s opinion, might have escalated into war were precipitated by the Russians in his first 24 months in office — Berlin, Laos, and Cuba. Although Mr. Kennedy believes Soviet Premier Khrushchev may proceed more cautiously after his Cuban adventure, he does not believe this setback will reverse the bruising trend of Soviet policy. The problem of Cuba still weighs heavily on the President. With Castro still in power and in the Communist orbit, and with Soviet troops and ground-to-air missiles still in Cuba, he does not regard the situation there as satisfactory. His Administration will not support, however, an invasion by any force unless there is an aggressive act by Castro.


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