Friday, October 26, 1962
KHRUSHCHEV OFFERS DEAL TO END MISSILE CRISIS
According to sources, Mr. Khrushchev proposes to announce that Soviet ships headed for Cuba will not carry any armaments. In return, he asks the government of the United States to declare there will be no invasion of the island.
Mr. Khrushchev also writes:
"Everyone needs peace. Both capitalists &...communists. War is our enemy & a calamity for all.
We are of sound mind & understand...that if we attack you, you will respond...
Let us normalize relations. We are ready to enter...negotiations (as) the preservation of world peace should be our joint concern."
Following his offer, Mr. Khrushchev says that if the United States agrees..."the Soviet weapons in Cuba would no longer be necessary."
The White House has yet to issue an official response to the letter.*
*Also on Oct 26, 1962, Fidel Castro sent a letter to Nikita Khrushchev in which he predicted that an invasion of Cuba by the U.S. was "imminent within the next 24 or 72 hours." He added: "The morale of the Cuban people is extremely high."
FIRST SOVIET SHIP STOPPED AT BLOCKADE
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The 1st Soviet ship bound for Cuba to be stopped & searched by the United States Navy has been identified as the Marucla, a Lebanese freighter chartered by the Soviet Union.
Although having declared only a cargo of paper, sulfur & spare truck parts, the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., a destroyer named for JFK's brother who was killed in World War II, stopped & searched the Soviet leased vessel which was manned primarily by a Greek crew.
This evening, White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger issued a statement saying the Soviets "are rapidly continuing their construction of missile support & launch facilities."*
*Michael Dobbs says that JFK said on Thursday, Oct 25, "We've got to prove sooner or later that the blockade works" & that the selection of the Marucla as the 1st ship to stop was because it was almost certain not to contain missiles.
Thus ended the 11th of the 13 "Days of October." The 12th would be the toughest. Michael Dobbs writes:
"The stage was set for...'the worst day' of the crisis known as 'Black Saturday.' Events were about to accelerate dramatically. The world was hurtling toward a nuclear conflict."**
**Source: "One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev & Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War," Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2008.
USAF Photo (1962)