Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 16:18 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 16:18 | SYDNEY

Castro rethinks the missile crisis


Sam Roggeveen


9 September 2010 09:55

The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg has an account of a long interview with Fidel Casto, which includes this:

I mentioned to Castro the letter he wrote to Khruschev, the Soviet premier, at the height of the (Cuban missile) crisis, in which he recommended that the Soviets consider launching a nuclear strike against the U.S. if the Americans attack Cuba. "That would be the time to think about liquidating such a danger forever through a legal right of self-defense," Castro wrote at the time.

I asked him, "At a certain point it seemed logical for you to recommend that the Soviets bomb the U.S. Does what you recommended still seem logical now'" He answered: "After I've seen what I've seen, and knowing what I know now, it wasn't worth it all."

The assessment by then-US Defense Secretary Robert McNamara — that the world 'lucked out' by averting nuclear war during the crisis — seems truer than ever, but also more chilling, since our luck can't hold forever. To quote McNamara: 'The indefinite combination of human fallibility and nuclear weapons will destroy nations.'

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