October 23, 1962
OAS APPROVES JFK BLOCKADE PROCLAMATION
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The Organ of Consultation of the Organization of American States approved today “Proclamation #3504” signed by President John F. Kennedy which states that Cuba will be under naval & air quarantine as of 2 p.m. (GMT) tomorrow.
JFK’s proclamation was approved by a vote of 19 to 0.
The proclamation, in part, reads:
“In carrying out this order, force shall not be used except in case of failure or refusal to comply with directions, or with regulations or directives of the Secretary of Defense.”*
*At 9:30 p.m. Eastern time, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy was meeting privately with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin.
RFK said: “I don’t know how this is going to end, but we intend to stop your ships.”
Dobrynin responded: “That would be an act of war.”
Source: “One Minute to Mid-Night: Kennedy, Khrushchev & Castro On The Brink Of Nuclear War”, by Michael Dobbs, Published by Alfred Knopf, 2008.
Pan American Union Building
Photo by John Collier (1943)
October 23, 1962
CASTRO DEFIANT IN FACE OF US BLOCKADE
Havana, Cuba (JFK+50) Cuban Premier Fidel Castro, speaking on Cuban television today, expressed defiance of President Kennedy’s proclamation to set up a naval blockade of his island.
“We will acquire the arms we deem necessary for our defense & we don’t have to give an accounting to anyone. We will never be aggressors, but we will never be victims, either.”
The Cuban dictator added:
“We are not sovereign by grace of the Yankees, but in our own right.”
Fidel Castro Coin
Banco Nacional de Cuba (1993)
October 23, 1961
SOVIETS EXPLODE MOST POWERFUL BOMB EVER
Moscow, USSR (JFK+50) The Soviet Union set off 2 nuclear weapons today at its Arctic testing station, one of which is the most powerful atomic weapon ever detonated.
Shock waves from the blast were detected in both Sweden & Japan.
The 2nd bomb was set off underwater, the 1st such test by the USSR.
The White House has made no comment on the test.
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev said:
“It could have been bigger, but then it might have broken all the windows in Moscow 4000 miles away.”
Soviet Arctic Nuclear Testing Site
October 23, 1955
JFK SAYS POLAND STILL UNDER RUSSIA’S THUMB
Boston, Massachusetts (JFK+50) Senator John F. Kennedy, speaking today at a meeting of the Polish-Americans Citizens Club of South Boston, said that Poland is still under the “iron control” of the USSR.
“When the Polish people are free to talk with visitors, when they can freely visit Western countries, when the Voice of America is no longer jammed, when free elections are held & a free press permitted, then it will be possible to say there has been a genuine change in the policy of the Communists.”
After the speech, Senator Kennedy was presented with a citation for his efforts in assisting the people of Poland.
Polish Museum of America
Photo by Antonio Vernon (2007)