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President Kennedy Lifts Naval Blockade of Cuba

Nov. 20, 1962 - President Kennedy announced tonight that he had ordered the lifting of the naval blockade of Cuba. He did this, he explained, because he had been informed during the day by Premier Khrushchev that all the Soviet jet bombers in Cuba would be withdrawn within 30 days. The Soviet move went “a long way toward reducing the dangers which faced this hemisphere four weeks ago,” the President said at a news conference. Within minutes of the conference, the Pentagon said Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara had ordered the Navy to end the quarantine. The quarantine, which began Oct. 24, was designed to cut off a further Soviet buildup in what the U.S. had termed the offensive military potential of Premier Fidel Castro’s regime. The Soviet promise to withdraw 30 or so IL-28 jet bombers from Cuba came to President Kennedy in the form of a message from Premier Khrushchev this afternoon. The message ended 10 days of negotiation on their removal.


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