How Castro Held the World Hostage
By JAMES G. BLIGHT and JANET M. LANG
Published: October 25, 2012
ON Oct. 26-27, 1962, human civilization came close to being destroyed. Schoolchildren were ordered into shelters; supermarket shelves were emptied of soup cans and bottled water. It was the most perilous moment of the Cuban missile crisis, and of the cold war. But the danger of Armageddon did not begin, as legend has it, when the United States learned that Soviet missiles had reached Cuba’s shores earlier that month.
From his bunker, Mr. Castro wrote that, in the event of an American invasion, “the danger that that aggressive policy poses for humanity is so great that following that event the Soviet Union must never allow the circumstances in which the imperialists could launch the first nuclear strike against it.” An invasion, he added, “would be the moment to eliminate such danger forever through an act of clear, legitimate defense however harsh and terrible the solution would be, for there is no other.” Mr. Castro was calm as he composed this last will and testament for the 6.5 million citizens of Cuba, and the 43,000 Russians on the island who would be incinerated alongside them.