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Nixon Backs JFK on Cuba

Oct. 27, 1962 - Richard M. Nixon (pictured with Fidel Castro in 1959) fully endorsed President Kennedy’s “strong action” on Cuba tonight. He urged the rejection of a Soviet proposal to dismantle Cuban missiles if the U.S. gave up its bases in Turkey. To give up bases in Turkey would mean destroying the “anchor of NATO,” Mr. Nixon said in a televised speech. He seconded the President’s decision to turn down the Russian offer, which he likened to a “horse for a rabbit” trade that would severely hamper the U.S. and the free world. Mr. Nixon, describing Soviet Premier Khrushchev as a “coldly objective” man who would weigh all the risks “before he presses the button,” said the U.S. in Cuba had to consider the possibility that the offensive missiles might fall under the control of Fidel Castro. Mr. Nixon called Castro a “hot-blooded maniac” who might take a chance in a moment of impulse of touching off a war. Mr. Nixon said he was confident “Mr. Khrushchev is not going to risk Moscow to save Havana.”


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