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Letter: Castro Made Soviets Worried
| Oct 11, 2002 - 1:06 PM ET
| GEORGE GEDDA, AP
Posted on 10/11/2002 1:42:41 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
WASHINGTON (AP) - Weeks after the Soviet Union agreed to pull offensive missiles from Cuba in 1962, Nikita Khrushchev was worried that an "irrational" Fidel Castro would renew tensions with the United States, possibly even provoking a war, newly released documents show.
Cuba "wants practically to drag us behind it with a leash, and wants to pull us into a war with America by its actions," Khrushchev said in a Nov. 16 letter to diplomatic aides in Cuba.
At issue were U.S. surveillance flights sent over Cuba to monitor dismantling of the missiles Moscow had installed on the island. Khrushchev, the Communist leader of the Soviet Union, had agreed in late October to pull out the missiles as part of a deal with President Kennedy.
But Khrushchev was concerned that Castro would order his forces to shoot down the low-flying U.S. surveillance flights, which the Cuban leader clearly saw as an intolerable intrusion on Cuban sovereignty.
The Soviet agreement to pull out the missiles followed a two-week period, starting in mid-October, in which the two powers came close to a nuclear exchange.
There was a sense of relief worldwide when the agreement was announced but the newly released documents demonstrate the crisis did not end on Oct. 29, as is widely believed.
Khrushchev's concerns were contained in documents being released on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the missile crisis.
Cuba is commemorating the event with a two-day conference in Havana that was starting on Friday.
The documents being released there are from the Cuban government, the CIA, the Pentagon, the White House, the Soviet Foreign Ministry and other governments which played a role in the long ago events.
A portion of the documents was made available to The Associated Press in Washington.
The National Security Archives, a Washington-based research group, has been cooperating with the Cuban government in preparing for the conference.
Archive director Thomas Blanton said, "The conference room will echo with words that resonate today, such as 'intelligence failure,' 'pre-emptive strike' and 'weapons of mass destruction.'"
The day after Khrushchev sent his memo to Anastas Mikoyan, a top diplomatic adviser who was monitoring events in Havana, it appeared as though Khrushchev's worst fears were being realized.
A Cuban military document, stamped "Top Secret," said Cuban anti-aircraft units were being given authority to open fire against "enemy aircraft" starting on Nov. 18.
There is no evidence the order was ever carried out. Castro suggests in one document that the order was countermanded, telling a Russian visitor at a later date: "Just imagine, our soldiers cried in the trenches, having no opportunity to shoot at the planes, which were flying at grass-cutting altitudes.
"That affected their morale negatively," Castro said. "And one has to take into account that the enemy will be threatening us for a long time."
Khrushchev clearly felt a sense of betrayal that Cuba was not appreciative of the deal he negotiated, a key element of which was a U.S. promise not to invade the island.
He expressed regret that Cuba did not want to take steps to avoid war.
"If our Cuban comrades take steps that in their opinion protect their interests - that is their right," Khrushchev said.
"But then we have to raise with them the issue that we would be forced to absolve ourselves of all responsibility for the consequences their steps might entail for them.
"If they do not take our arguments into account, then it is clear that our side cannot bear the responsibility for it."
TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: castrowatch; communism; terrorism
To: Cincinatus' Wife
Castro must have known this was coming out. That's why he made a statement a day or two ago that he was completely innocent of what was going on and had no idea that the USSR was about to drag Cuba into an international incident.
posted on 10/11/2002 1:47:04 PM PDT
To: *Castro Watch
To: Free the USA
To: Cincinatus' Wife
Castro has been a lunatic since Day One.
This is just further corroboration.
posted on 10/11/2002 3:50:32 PM PDT
To: Cincinatus' Wife
ANOTHER NUCLEAR MENACE
BRAZIL SOURCE OF SADDAM'S URANIUM? BLOCKING A NEW AXIS OF EVIL
LA NUEVA CUBA
Constantine C. Menges
"(In Brazil)Between 1965 and 1994, the military actively worked to develop nuclear weapons, it successfully designed two atomic bombs and was reportedly on the verge of testing one nuclear device when a newly elected democratic government and a Brazilian congressional investigation caused the program to be shut down.
That investigation revealed, however, that the military had sold eight tons of uranium to Iraq in 1981. It is also reported that after Brazil's successful ballistic missile program was ended, the general and 24 of the scientists working on it went to work for Iraq. There are reports that with financing from Iraq, a nuclear weapons capability has been covertly maintained contrary to directives from the civilian democratic leaders."
Constantine C. Menges
Colaboración: Paul Echaniz E.U.
La Nueva Cuba
Octubre 25, 2002
A new terrorist and nuclear weapons/ballistic missile threat may well come from an axis including Cuba's Fidel Castro, the Chavez regime in Venezuela and a newly elected radical president of Brazil, all with links to Iraq, Iran and China. Visiting Iran last year. Mr. Castro said: "Iran and Cuba can bring America to its knees," while Chavez expressed his admiration for Saddam Hussein during a visit to Iraq.
The new axis is still preventable, but if the pro-Castro candidate is elected president of Brazil, the results could include a radical regime in Brazil re-establishing its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs, developing close links to state sponsors of terrorism such as Cuba, Iraq and Iran, and participating in the destabilization of fragile neighboring democracies. This could lead to 300 million people in six countries coming under the control of radical anti-U.S. regimes and the possibility that thousands of newly indoctrinated terrorists might try to attack the United States from Latin America. Yet, the administration in Washington seems to be paying little attention.
Brazilians will hold presidential elections in October, and if current polling is any guide the winner could be a pro-Castro radical with extensive ties to international terrorism. His name is Luis Inacio da Silva, the presidential candidate of the Workers Party who is currently at about 40 percent in the polls. The Communist candidate is second with 25 percent and the pro-democratic contender is at about 14 percent.
Mr. da Silva makes no secret of his sympathies. He has been an ally of Mr. Castro for more than 25 years. With Mr. Castro's support, Mr.da Silva founded the Sao Paulo Forum in 1990 as an annual meeting of communist and other radical terrorist and political organizations from Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. This has been used to coordinate and plan terrorist and political activities around the world and against the United States. The last meeting was held in Havana, Cuba in December 2001. It involved terrorists from Latin America, Europe and the Middle East, and sharply condemned the Bush administration and its actions against international terrorism.
Like Mr. Castro, Mr. da Silva blames the United States and "neo-liberalism" for all the real social and economic problems still facing Brazil and Latin America. Mr. Da Silva has called the Free Trade Area of the Americas a plot by the United States to "annex" Brazil, and he has said that the international lenders who seek repayment of their $250 billion in loans are "economic terrorists." He has also said that those who are moving their money out of Brazil because they fear his regime are "economic terrorists." This gives a hint about the kind of "war against terrorism" his regime will conduct.
Brazil is a vast, richly endowed country, nearly the size of the United States with a population of about 180 million and the world's eighth largest economy (with a GDP of more than $1.1 trillion). It could soon become one of the world's nuclear armed powers as well. Between 1965 and 1994, the military actively worked to develop nuclear weapons, it successfully designed two atomic bombs and was reportedly on the verge of testing one nuclear device when a newly elected democratic government and a Brazilian congressional investigation caused the program to be shut down.
That investigation revealed, however, that the military had sold eight tons of uranium to Iraq in 1981. It is also reported that after Brazil's successful ballistic missile program was ended, the general and 24 of the scientists working on it went to work for Iraq. There are reports that with financing from Iraq, a nuclear weapons capability has been covertly maintained contrary to directives from the civilian democratic leaders.
Mr. da Silva has said Brazil should have nuclear weapons and move closer to China, which has been actively courting the Brazilian military. China has sold Brazil enriched uranium and has invested in the Brazilian aerospace industry, resulting in a joint imagery/reconnaissance satellite.
Brazil shares common borders with 10 other countries in South America. This would help da Silva to emulate â as he has said he would â the foreign policy of the pro-Castro and pro-Iraq Chavez regime in Venezuela, which has provided support to the communist narco-terrorist FARC in Colombia as well as other anti-democratic groups in other South American countries. Hugo Chavez worked with Mr. Castro to temporarily destabilize the fragile democracy in Ecuador two years ago. Now both support the radical socialist leader of the cocaine growers, Evo Morales, who hopes to become president of Bolivia this August.
Along with helping the communist guerrillas take power in the embattled democracy in Colombia, a da Silva regime in Brazil would be well situated to aide communists, narco-terrorists and other anti-democratic groups in destabilizing the fragile democracies of Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, as well as to exploit the deep economic crisis in Argentina and Paraguay.
Further, a da Silva regime is likely to default on its debt, causing a sharp economic downturn in all of Latin America, thereby increasing the vulnerability of its democracies. This could also trigger a second phase of economic downturn in the United Staes as export markets contracted.
A Castro-Chavez-da Silva axis would mean linking 43 years of Fidel Castro's political warfare against the United States with the oil wealth of Venezuela and the nuclear weapons/ ballistic missile and economic potential of Brazil.
Come our own elections in November 2004, Americans may ask: Who lost South America? The United States was politically passive during the Clinton administration, when it ignored the pleas of Venezuela's democratic leaders for help in opposing the anti-constitutional and illegal actions of Mr. Chavez and also ignored his public alliances with state sponsors of terrorism. Why can't the Bush administration act before 20 years of democratic gains in Latin America were allowed to be reversed? Why can't anything be done before a vast new southern flank is opened up in the terrorist threat and our nation menaced by one more radical anti-American regime intent on acquiring nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles?
This disaster for U.S. national security and for the people of Latin America must and can be averted if our policy makers act quickly and decisively, but they must do so now. Timely political attention and actions by the United States and other democracies should include encouragement for the pro-democratic parties in Brazil to unify behind an honest, capable political leader who can represent the hopes of the majority of Brazilians for genuine democracy and who has the resources to mount an effective national campaign.
Constantine C. Menges, a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute, is a former National Security Council member. >>
posted on 10/25/2002 9:37:50 AM PDT
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