Sunday, October 28, 1962
RADIO MOSCOW SAYS MISSILES IN CUBA ARE BEING DISMANTLED
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Radio Moscow transmitted a message from Soviet Premier Khrushchev this morning announcing his decision to diffuse the 13 day crisis by dismantling the nuclear missiles in Cuba & returning them to the USSR.
The statement, read by an announcer beginning at 9 a.m. Washington time, began:
“This is Moscow speaking…” followed by these words:
“In order to eliminate…the conflict which endangers the cause of peace…the Soviet government…has given a new order to dismantle the weapons (in Cuba)…& to crate & return them to the Soviet Union.”
Premier Khrushchev said, later in the message, that he was assured by JFK’s letter of Oct. 27, that the United States would not invade Cuba.
The message concluded with Mr. Khrushchev saying:
“We are confident that reason will triumph, that war will not be unleashed & peace & the security of the peoples will be insured.”
President Kennedy called Khrushchev’s decision to remove the missiles from Cuba “statesmanlike.”*
*The announcement by Radio Moscow on the 13th day of the Cuban Missile Crisis followed the most dangerous day of the crisis known as “Black Saturday.”
During an EXCOMM meeting late Saturday afternoon, General Maxwell Taylor told JFK that the Joint Chiefs were calling for massive air strikes by Monday morning “unless there is evidence…that the weapons are being dismantled.”
JFK learned of Khrushchev’s decision as he was dressing for church. He said to Dave Powers: “I feel like a new man now. Do you realize we had an air strike all arranged? Thank God, it’s all over.”
While most EXCOMM members were pleased with the resolution of the crisis, the Joint Chiefs were not. Air Force General Curtis LeMay called it “The worst defeat in our history.”
“One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev & Castro On the Brink of Nuclear War,” by Michael Dobbs, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2008.