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for those that are too young to remember .
by gonzalo fernández


“… and that we would prefer to disappear, as we demonstrated in 1962.” Raúl Castro’s speech to the Communist Youth Organization on April 4, 2010.

Following is an excerpt of Raúl Castro’s speech in response to what he called “… a huge smear campaign against Cuba, a campaign orchestrated, directed and financed by the centers of imperial power in the United States and Europe, hypocritically waving the banner of human rights.”

As usual, he was using the victim stratagem, while concealing the atrocious records of human rights violations over 50 years of tyrannical rule in Cuba.


For those that are too young to remember and for those that are old enough to recall from memory, I am bringing up related information from excerpts of my book “Cuba’s Primer”:

“… On October 14, 1962, Major Anderson returned from a mission with pictures of ballistic missile sites and nuclear storage facilities under construction. On Oct. 22, President Kennedy addressed the nation and six tense days followed. While negotiations between President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev were still under way, Major Anderson attempted another reconnaissance run and his U-2 was shot down and he was killed (on October 27 by a SAM, surface-to-air missile)…” (1) The October Missile Crisis had unfolded. To this day, my stomach turns when I think how close Castro and Khrushchev risked a nuclear war.

President John F. Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of Cuba, which was called a “quarantine”, designed to stop the numerous Soviet cargo ships en route to Cuba. There were urgent exchange of messages between President Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

President Kennedy “… sent his brother (Robert) to tell Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin that the time for diplomacy was running out, that work on the missiles had to stop at once…

… The sun shone bright in Washington Sunday morning, October 28, as Radio Moscow read out Khrushchev response to Kennedy… that work at the bases on the island had now stopped…” (2)

(Nikita Khrushchev talking to Fidel Castro) “Later when I met Castro in the Soviet Union, I told him, “You wanted to start a war with the U.S. If the war had started, we would somehow have survived, but Cuba no doubt would have ceased to exist. It would have been crushed into powder. Yet you suggested a nuclear strike!”

“No, I did not,” replied Castro. “How can you say that?” I asked Fidel. The interpreter added, “Fidel, Fidel, you yourself told me that.” “No!” insisted Castro. We checked the documents. The interpreter said, “Here is the word war; here is the word blow.” Fidel was embarrassed…” (3)

Book’s website: www.cubasprimer.com

(1) Air Force Link, Official Website of the United States Air Force.
(2) Max Frankel, “Learning from the Missile Crisis,” Smithsonian, October 2002, p. 53.
(3) Khrushchev’s Secret Tapes, TIME, October 1, 1990.


Gonzalo is a business consultant. He is one of the coauthors of The Handbook of Financing Growth, Wiley, Second Edition, 2009, Marks, Robbins, Fernández, Funkhouser and Williams. In Cuba's Primer, Lulu, 2009, he writes with the conviction and knowledge of a personal witness.

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