411. Editorial Note

On September 4, 1962, the White House released a statement by President Kennedy relating to the flow of weapons from the Soviet Union to Cuba. The President noted that the United States had evidence that this build-up included antiaircraft defense missiles with slant range of 25 miles, and motor torpedo boats equipped with ship-to-ship guided missiles. He indicated that some 3,500 Soviet technicians were thought to be in Cuba or en route to support the establishment and use of this equipment. He added, however, that there was no evidence of organized Soviet combat forces in Cuba, nor any evidence of military bases provided to the Soviet Union, nor the presence of weapons with an offensive capability, such as ground-to-ground missiles. “Were it to be otherwise, the gravest issues would arise.” The statement concluded:

“It continues to be the policy of the United States that the Castro regime will not be allowed to export its aggressive purposes by force or the threat of force. It will be prevented by whatever means may be necessary from taking action against any part of the Western Hemisphere. The United States, in conjunction with other hemisphere countries, will make sure that while increased Cuban armaments will be a heavy burden to the unhappy people of Cuba themselves, they will be nothing more.” The statement was read to the White House press corps by Press Secretary Pierre Salinger. For text, see Department of State Bulletin, September 24, 1962, page 450.