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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 10, 1962

SPEECH BY SENATOR KEATING, "CUBA"

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    Keating alleges that there are six IRBM bases being constructed by the Soviet Union in Cuba.
    "Speech by Senator Keating, "Cuba"," October 10, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, 87th Congress, 2nd session, Congressional Record 108, part 17 (October 10, 1962), 22957. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134657
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Mr. KEATING. Mr. President, yesterday I spoke on the subject of Cuba. At that time I did not have fully confirmed the matter to which I shall address myself now. I now have it fully confirmed. As a result, I call upon the appropriate Government officials to confirm or to deny reports of intermediate range missile bases in Cuba.


Construction has begun on at least a half dozen launching sites for intermediate range tactical missiles. Intelligence authorities must have advised the President and top Government officials of this fact, and they must now have been told that ground-to-ground missiles can be
operational from the island of Cuba within 6 months.


My own sources on the Cuban situation, which have been 100 percent reliable, have substantiated this report completely.


When are the American people going to be given all of the facts about the military buildup in Cuba?


Yesterday I pointed out, for either the 19th or 20th time, that we are not getting the whole story on Cuba. I referred to the recent testimony by Under Secretary of State George Ball before the House Select Committee on Export Control. Presumably the report was supposed to be in one with the President's commitment of September 4 that. "We shall continue to make information available as fast as it is obtained and properly verified."


I stated that Mr. Ball had confirmed facts which some of us had previously reported; that he had identified three, possibly four, short-range missile sites in Cuba. I commented, however, that the significant sentence in his testimony, which was buried away, perhaps in the hope that no one would notice it, was this: "Quite likely several more such sites will be installed."


The fact of the matter is, according to my reliable sources, that six launching sites are under construction—pads which will have the power to hurl rockets into the American heartland and as far as the Panama Canal Zone.


Why would Under Secretary Ball give the committee the impression that new missile sites were a possibility rather than a fact? Even as possibilities, he indicated they would be short range rather than intermediate range missile sites. Why has such a veil been thrown around Cuba, keeping this new information from the American people? Are they still trying to perpetuate the myth that the build-up is defensive? Is it possible anyone in Government is childish enough to believe this?


According to Mr. Walter Lippmann's column of yesterday, the United States has "an elaborate system of surveillance by sea, by air, and by land and there is every reason to think that its accuracy is very high. Little of military interest can happen without our knowing it. We do not have to guess. We know."

If this is true, our Government is well aware of the fact that within a matter of months. Cuba may have the capability of launching intermediate range missiles, but the American people are being kept in the dark. The Soviets know the fact. The Cubans know this fact. But in the view of the administration our people are not entitled to know it. Mr. President, let us have all the facts, and have them now.

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