JFK CRITICIZED "HIT & RUN" RAIDS ON CUBA IN HIS NEWS CONFERENCE 50 YEARS AGO TODAY
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Fifty years ago today, April 3, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was critical of "hit & run" raids conducted by Cuban exiles & launched from the coast of Florida.
The President responded to a question by a reporter at his 53rd news conference held in the State Department Auditorium & beginning a 4 p.m.
JFK at Podium
Presidential Press Conference
State Department Auditorium
Photo by Abbie Rowe
NARA/JFK Library Image
JFK said that the government of the United States had attempted to discourage these raid because...
"(they do) not seem...to represent any real blow to (Fidel) Castro."
The President also said that the raids gave added incentives to the Soviets to maintain their presence on the island just 90 miles off the Florida coast.
JFK went on, however, to pay high compliment to the members of the ill fated Bay of Pigs brigade who had, since their release from Castro's prisons, "joined the United States Army, 200 as officers & 250 as men...who...will be very fine soldiers."
JFK Library Image
Later, a question on another topic was proposed to President Kennedy.
The reporter asked...
"Do you think we will beat the Russians with a man to the Moon?"
"We are behind now, & we will continue to be behind. But if we make a major effort, we have a chance, I believe, to be ahead at the end of the decade."
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