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Extra resources for Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976
Four days later, Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles. He did not consult Castro. ‘‘We realized that we had become some type of game token,’’ Castro later said. He had expressed his feelings equally bluntly at the time: ‘‘I do not see how you can say that we were consulted in the decision you took,’’ he wrote Khrushchev. ’’≥∞ While the point is true, it must be qualiﬁed. Kennedy had hedged his pledge with conditions that the Cubans rejected. Castro had refused to allow on-site UN supervision of the missiles’ removal or any future on-ground veriﬁcation that no missiles had been installed, and Kennedy had consequently rebuffed Khrushchev’s repeated requests to sign a document formalizing the noninvasion pledge.
Kennedy had hedged his pledge with conditions that the Cubans rejected. Castro had refused to allow on-site UN supervision of the missiles’ removal or any future on-ground veriﬁcation that no missiles had been installed, and Kennedy had consequently rebuffed Khrushchev’s repeated requests to sign a document formalizing the noninvasion pledge. At his November 20 press conference Kennedy gave himself more wiggle room. S. noninvasion guarantee had not been met, he said, ‘‘If all offensive weapons are removed from Cuba and kept out of the hemisphere in the future .
S. aid. ’ ’’∏Ω It is impossible to know what Castro’s intentions were because the United States consistently rebuffed his overtures. A modus vivendi with the United States would have lowered his international proﬁle and curtailed his activism. It would have run counter to his sense of mission and his deep hostility to the United States. It would have satisﬁed, however, a deep longing. Tad Szulc, Castro’s foremost biographer, stresses ‘‘the obsession of Fidel Castro to do away with human, social and economic underdevelopment in Cuba.
Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976 by Piero Gleijeses