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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 24, 1962

SOVIET REPORT TO REACTION INSIDE THE US TO KENNEDY'S DECISION TO BLOCKADE CUBA

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    Report on the reaction among DC politicians to Kennedy's decision to blockade Cuba.
    "Soviet Report to Reaction Inside the US to Kennedy's Decision to Blockade Cuba," October 24, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, CWIHP archive. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114523
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REPORT #5438/273 from 24.X.62

from incoming (outgoing) ciphered telegram # 30520/783

from 24 October 1962 from Washington

"File for possible use (in part) in information summaries."

[Redacted text]

SAKHAROVSKll

Source: D5-72.

The decision to blockade Cuba was prepared by a small group of individuals (about 10 people). This includes Robert KENNEDY, BUNDY and "his people," and 3 people from the Pentagon. This decision turned out to be completely unexpected for political leaders of the Congress.

Many liberally-minded members of Congress are unhappy with the president's decision, including FULBRIGHT and KASTENMEIER. However, probably neither of these, due to political reasons, will come out to condemn this step. KENNEDY and his supporters are "strongly committed" to this decision and can no longer back away from it. In case of a failure, KENNEDY would be provoked compromised and his actions would be openly criticized. If the opinion spreads that the Democratic Party is a party of war, then this could lead to the election of a conservative but more peacefully disposed Republican, such as ROMNEY.

The source had not heard anyone explicitly approving of KENNEDY's decision [to blockade Cuba]. Widespread is skeptic wait-and-see attitude mixed with alarm. KENNEDY is being condemned for not having consulted beforehand with [other] political figures. Very different opinions can be heard in Washington: from arguments that KENNEDY's decision is a pre-election trick to the moods of panic and remarks about inevitability of war. Washington is waiting for counteractions by the Soviet government in the state of alarm.

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