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White House: Cuba Crisis “Escalating”

Oct. 27, 1962 - President Kennedy revealed tonight that Premier Khrushchev had offered an acceptable solution to the Cuban crisis and then pulled away from it. In a letter to the Soviet leader tonight, President Kennedy called on him to stand by an offer made in a private communication last night to remove Soviet missiles from Cuba under U.N. supervision. At the same time, the President brushed aside, as he had earlier today, a subsequent proposal from Premier Khrushchev offering to eliminate Soviet missile bases in Cuba if the U.S. would remove its missile bases in Turkey. Amidst these efforts at negotiation, officials in Washington said the crisis was “escalating.” These events seemed to bear out their fears:

1. In Cuba, a U.S. U-2 reconnaissance aircraft was reported missing while attempting to observe what was happening at the Soviet missile bases there, and another U.S. plane was fired upon, apparently by Cubans and not by the Russians.

2. The Castro Government appeared to be taking a much more belligerent attitude than the Soviet Government, possibly in the fear that it was being “sold out” by Moscow. It announced that its forces intended to oppose the U.S. reconnaissance planes.

3. At the Pentagon, the Defense Department threatened retaliation if U.S. planes were fired upon.

4. Adlai E. Stevenson, chief U.S. representative at the U.N., told the Western allies today that the U.S. intended to take military action to eliminate Soviet missile bases in Cuba “in a brief space of time” unless work on the bases halted.


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