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Khrushchev Warns U.S. on Cuba

May 23, 1963 - Premier Khrushchev warned today that any blockade of Cuba or attack against the island nation would provoke a crisis graver than the one last October. Speaking before a mass “friendship meeting” honoring Premier Fidel Castro, Khrushchev declared the Soviet Union would go to the assistance of Cuba if the U.S. failed to adhere to the agreement the Premier reached with President Kennedy last fall. The Soviet leader said there were “madmen” in the U.S. urging a blockade of or armed attack on Cuba. He reiterated previous promises of Russia’s aid in such circumstances. Later, at a Kremlin reception for Castro, Mr. Khrushchev vigorously denied Western rumors and speculation that his own political position was uncertain and that he might retire. “The bourgeois press says Khrushchev will resign or be made to resign and that Khrushchev is in a difficult position,” said the 69-year-old Soviet leader, referring to himself in the third person. “The position of our party is good; the people are good; and, like the position of the party, my position is good. May God grant that it shall be so to the very end of my days.”

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