Conference on 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis Offers Lessons for Today's International Confrontations
Interview with Peter Kornbluh, of the National Security Archive conducted by Between The Lines' Denise Manzari.
On Oct. 10, senior veterans of the Cuban missile crisis arrived in Havana for a historic 40th anniversary conference. Among the attendees were former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, CIA analyst Dino Brugioni, and JFK counsel and speechwriter Theodore Sorenson. Russian veterans also arrived from Moscow, including deputy foreign minister Georgi Kornienko and former defense minister Dmitry Yazov.
Thousands of documents have recently been declassified from the Cuban government, the CIA, the Pentagon, the Soviet Foreign Ministry Politburo, Mexico, Canada and Great Britain, providing for the first time, a multinational perspective on the crisis.
During the conference, it was revealed that President John F. Kennedy, in meetings with Soviet leader Nikita Kruschev's son-in-law Adzhubei in January 1962, compared the U.S. failure at the Bay of Pigs to the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. Kennedy also assured Adzhubei that the U.S. "will not meddle" with Cuba, while at the same time, Joint Chiefs of Staff were preparing "cover and deception plans" that included pretexts for the U.S. invasion of the island nation.
Peter Kornbluh is the director of the National Security Archive's Cuba Project. He spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari about the significance of recently declassified documents and the role the conference could play in helping to prevent a future nuclear crisis.
For more information on the Cuban Missile Crisis and the National Security Archive, call (202) 994-7000 or visit their Web site at www.nsarchive.org.
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