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President Speaks Out on Cuba

Jan. 24, 1963 - President Kennedy said today that one Russian ship has been detected delivering arms to Cuba since the Cuban crisis, but that its cargo was not offensive weapons. He told a press conference that 16,000 to 17,000 Russian troops are still in Cuba. He said they are operating defense sites and technical equipment, are engaged in exercises, and are building some barracks. There is no evidence, however, that Russia’s offensive buildup in Cuba has been resumed since the October crisis after which Russian missiles and bombers were withdrawn. Mr. Kennedy said the U.S. is continuing daily surveillance of Cuba, presumably by aerial reconnaissance. The President’s remarks came on the eve of a Senate Latin American affairs subcommittee inquiry into reports of a big new Russian arms buildup in Cuba. Secretary of State Dean Rusk will be the first witness at tomorrow’s closed session of the subcommittee headed by Sen. Wayne Morse (D-Ore.).


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