Transcript

Comrade Deputies, everyone remembers the tense days of October when mankind was anxiously listening to the news coming from the Caribbean. In those days the world was poised on the brink of a thermonuclear catastrophe. What created this crisis? How did it develop? What lessons must be learned from it?

Having raised the banner of the people's anti imperialist revolution, the freedom loving Cuban people rallied behind their leader, Fidel Castro, and his comrades in arms, and by 1959 had cleared their land of the North American brigands and their accomplices …

Relations of sincere friendship based on equality, respect for sovereignty and economic co-operation were established between the Soviet Union and Cuba from the very first few days of her new life …

Flouting generally accepted standards of international relations, the reactionary forces of the USA, from the first day of the victory of the Cuban revolution, have done everything to overthrow Cuba's Revolutionary Government and restore their domination there.

Seeking to justify its aggressive actions, American reaction is repeating that the crisis in the Caribbean was allegedly created by Cuba herself, adding that blame rests also with the Soviet Union, which shipped there rockets and IL-28 bombers. But is this so? It is true that we sent arms there at the request of the Cuban Government. But what motives guided us in so doing? Exclusively humanitarian motives. Cuba needed weapons as a means of deterring aggressors, and not as a means of attack. For Cuba was under a real threat of invasion.

Some people pretend that the rockets were supplied by us for an attack on the USA. This, of course, is not sensible reasoning. Why should we station rockets in Cuba for this purpose when we were and are able to strike from our own territory, possessing as we do the necessary number of intercontinental missiles of the required range and power?

By 20th October a large scale build up of US and naval air forces, paratroops and marines had begun in the South of the USA, at the approaches to Cuba … On 22nd October the Kennedy Administration announced a quarantine of Cuba. The word 'quarantine' by the way, was merely a fig leaf in this case. Actually it was a blockade, piracy on the high seas.

Events developed rapidly. The US Command alerted all its armed forces … The forces of the USA's NATO allies were also put on the alert … As a result of these aggressive steps by the US Government there arose a threat of thermonuclear war.

In the face of these intensified military reparations we, for our part, had to take appropriate measures. The Soviet Government instructed the USSR Minister of Defence to alert the entire army of the Soviet Union , and above all the Soviet intercontinental and strategic rocket forces …

In these conditions, if one or the other side had not shown restraint and had not done everything possible to avert the outbreak of war, an explosion with irreparable consequences would have followed.

Which side triumphed? Who won? In this respect one may say it was sanity, the cause of security and peoples, that won. The two sides displayed a sober approach and took into account the fact that unless steps were taken that could help to overcome the dangerous development of events, a third world war might break out.

As a result of mutual concessions and compromise, an understanding was reached which made it possible to remove the dangerous tension, to normalise the situation. Both sides made concessions. We withdrew the ballistic rockets and agreed to withdraw the IL-28 aircraft. This gives satisfaction to the Americans. But both Cuba and the Soviet Union received satisfaction too: the American invasion of Cuba has been averted; the naval blockade has been lifted; the situation in the Caribbean area is returning to normal; people's Cuba exists, is gaining strength and is developing under the leadership of its Revolutionary Government, its dauntless leader, Fidel Castro.