Cuban Blockade: 3-minute video of President Kennedy ordering the Cuban blockade, October 22, 1962
Cuban Blockade Video Transcript
Good evening my fellow citizens, this government, as promised, has maintained the closest surveillance of the Soviet military buildup on the island of Cuba. Within the past week, unmistakable evidence has established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites is now in preparation on that imprisoned island. The purpose of these bases can be none other than to provide a nuclear-strike capability against the Western Hemisphere.
Only last Thursday as the evidence of this rapid offensive buildup was already in my hand, Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko told me in my office that he was instructed to make it clear once again, as he said his government had already done, that Soviet assistance to Cuba, and I quote: “pursue solely the purpose of contributing to the defense capability of Cuba,” unquote. That, and I quote him: “training by the Soviet specialists of Cuban Nationals in handling defensive armaments was by no means offensive.” “And if it were otherwise,” Mr. Gromyko went on, “the Soviet government would never become involved in rendering such assistance,” unquote. That statement also was false.
Acting therefore in the defense of our own security, and of the entire Western Hemisphere, and under the authority entrusted to me by the constitution, as endorsed by the resolution of the congress, I have directed that the following initial steps be taken immediately:
To halt this offensive buildup, a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated. All ships of any kind bound for Cuba from whatever nation or port, where they are found to contain cargo of defensive weapons will be turned back. It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation on the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.
I call upon Chairman Khrushchev to halt and eliminate this clandestine, reckless, and provocative threat to world peace and a stable relation between our two nations. I call upon him further to abandon this cause of world domination and join in the historic effort to end the perilous arms race and to transform the history of man. Our goal is not the victory of might but the vindication of right. Not peace at the expense of freedom, but both peace and freedom, here in this hemisphere and we hope around the world. God willing, that goal will be achieved.
Summary of Two Main Actions by the U.S. Regarding the Cuban Blockade:
1. Quarantine of all offensive military shipments to Cuba. All ships found with offensive weapons will be turned back.
2. Any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere will be met with a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.
Author commentary: Fifty-two years after the Cuban Blockade, Cuba continues to be an imprisoned island due to Castro’s brutally tyrannical regime, which has been in power since January 1959.
May the people of Cuba and elsewhere, where human rights are repressed, breath freedom soon.
Additional Information About Cuba
Life In Cuba Today, by V. Santamaria
The Escape – Cubans Escaping From Cuba, by V. Santamaria
Is Castro Cuban-Americans’ Hitler?”, by Charles Garcia, CNN
Castro’s Medical Mercenaries, by Susan Kitchens, Forbes
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