Cuban Missile Crisis - KHRUSHCHEV BLINKS

After JFK learned that Nikita Khrushchev's reply to the President's October 27th letter had been broadcast via Radio Moscow, JFK sent the Soviet Premier a telegram confirming the terms of their agreement. This image depicts the first page of that telegram. Online via JFK Presidential Library and Museum. Click on the image for a better view.


Khrushchev (who had famously banged his shoe at the UN two years before) delivered his answer the next morning. Instead of calling President Kennedy, however, the Soviet leader broke the news by radio. It was 10:04 Washington time.

Bobby Kennedy, unsure whether his discussions with Dobrynin would work, was spending time with his family. He hadn't seen much of them in two weeks. He was at a horse show, with his daughters, when the broadcast aired.

By the time Khrushchev (pictured in this link with his wife and Gromyko) concluded his message, it was clear (to those few who knew) that Bobby Kennedy and Anatoly Dobrynin had brokered a deal. The Soviet leader made no public mention of missiles in Turkey.

The terms of President Kennedy's October 27th letter would be implemented: Ballistic missiles would be dismantled and returned to the USSR in exchange for an American promise not to invade Cuba.  President Kennedy called former President Eisenhower to brief him.

In his message, Khrushchev chastised Kennedy for the American U-2 that had invaded Soviet air space the previous day ...

The question is, Mr. President: How should we regard this.

What is this: A provocation?

... and warned him about continued flights over Cuba:

...violation of Cuban airspace by American planes could also lead to dangerous consequences. And if you do not want this to happen, it would be better if no cause is given for a dangerous situation to arise.

The superpowers had stepped back from nuclear war. But no one from Moscow had bothered to tell Fidel Castro.

The Cuban leader found out when everyone else did. And ... he was not pleased.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Apr 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Oct 05, 2017

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"KHRUSHCHEV BLINKS" AwesomeStories.com. Apr 01, 2002. Feb 27, 2020.
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