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Some Cuba-Bound Soviet Ships Change Course

Oct. 24, 1962 - The blockade to prevent any more offensive weapons from reaching Cuba went into effect at 10 o’clock this morning. The Defense Department said today that some of the Soviet-bloc ships heading for Cuba had apparently altered course and avoided immediate contact with U.S. ships blocking the island. Other Communist-bloc vessels, however, were still proceeding on course for Cuba, the department added. There was speculation in Washington that the Russians were holding back vessels carrying military goods and maneuvering to make their first approach to the blockade line with a ship carrying wheat or other innocent cargo. The reported diversion of some ships and an unofficial suggestion by Premier Khrushchev for a meeting with President Kennedy were taken in Washington as signs that Moscow was still weighing its next step. President Kennedy received a private letter from Mr. Khrushchev yesterday, but it was said to have been in the same inconclusive vein as the Kremlin’s public statements so far.


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