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McNamara Assures Americans on Soviet Weapons in Cuba

Feb. 6, 1963 - The Kennedy Administration produced a barrage of previously top-secret evidence today in an attempt to prove that all offensive Soviet weapons have been removed from Cuba. In an unprecedented nationally televised revelation of U.S. intelligence procedures, Defense Department officials displayed dozens of aerial reconnaissance photographs and charts in an effort to silence criticism that the Administration is downgrading the Soviet menace on the island. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara (pictured) assured Americans that, “beyond any reasonable doubt,” all Soviet weapons had been removed from Cuba last fall. He also declared that no such weapons had been re-introduced to the islands since Premier Khrushchev ordered the removal of missiles and jet bombers in October 1962. As to the extent to which the Administration might permit a new Soviet build-up in Cuba, Mr. McNamara told a questioner at a news conference that closed out the two-hour television performance: “We will not tolerate the use of Cuba as a base for the export of aggression or subversion.”


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