The Document Commentary

Missiles in Cuba

Introduction of missiles in certain countries poses a great danger to other neighboring countries. Cuba was a threat to America in the reign of president Kennedy making him issue a speech to his citizens to assure them of safety and preparedness of his soldiers in case of an attack. The essay outlines various points of the speech by president Kennedy addressing Cuba missiles. Moreover, the speech identifies various weapons and their locations in Cuba.

Speech outline

John F.Kennedy (1962) gave a speech in America addressing missile crisis in Cuba. The president stated that the latest observation on the soviet military gang on Cuba island and identified sites prepared for offensive missiles to strike the western hemisphere using their nuclear weapons (Eidenmuller, 2016).First hand information received on Tuesday morning at 9 A.M. confirming that their closest watch on Cuba is strengthened. John Kennedy stressed that there are two types of missile installations done including medium ballistic missiles. These carry warhead of nuclear for longer than 1,000 nautical miles. Example the missiles could strike Panama Canal, Washington D.C,Cape Canaveral, Mexico and other cities located in south of United States, Central America and Caribbean area (Eidenmuller, 2016).He also added that there are more uncompleted sites designed for ballistic missiles that cover twice the distance. The missiles could strike various cities in the Western Hemisphere from as far as Hudson Bay. There are additional jets bombers that carry nuclear weapons assembling in Cuba and preparation of air bases are going on (A and E networks, 2016).

Kennedy reported that American peace is at stake with the latest transformation of Cuba into a strategic base and its possession of offensive weapons. Cuba is threatening the security of Americans, its tradition thus the reason for issue of warnings (A and E networks, 2016). Spokes man of the Soviet Union delivered messages of the arms buildup in Cuba that they would be original and maintain its defensive state requiring Soviet Union not to station strategic missiles in the territory or in other nations. The plan probably began few months ago, yet the president had stated the previous month that distinguished between defensive antiaircraft missiles and the ground-to-ground missiles. However, soviet government had publicly stated that equipment used in military, armaments transported to Cuba for defense, and that the Soviet government does not require transferring its weapons to other countries (Stern, 2013). Various reasons for the comment were that the Soviet Union has stronger rockets that would carry nuclear warheads and the search for their sites beyond Soviet Union boundaries is unnecessary.

Kennedy stated that the above statement was not true since the previous Thursday; Cuba foreign minister had told him in his office that they had requested soviet assistance of defensive weapons in Cuba. Specifically they asked for trainings on methods of handling defensive armaments from soviet experts (Stern, 2013). Kennedy also clarified a comment from Gromyko that Soviet Union could not give such assistance saying that it was not true. Kennedy made it clear that no nation can cope with deception and threats that are offensive from any nation. Moreover, the security of a nation is not challenged by firing weapons to their nations and that does not mean they are inadequate with their weapons. Moreover, Nuclear weapons are destructive and lead to fatal destructions. Ballistic missiles are swift in their speed and any improvement in their use may threaten the peace of many nations (Swift, 2007).

Soviet Union and United States upon realizing this have exercised great care while using such weapons to avoid disturbing the status quo, which states that the weapons are not for use except in challenging situations. Kennedy asserts that United States missiles are not in other nations in secret or through deception. More over the president stated that American have no desire of conquering other nations or using their system on its people. However, American citizens have continuously watched soviet missiles in sub marines and U.S.S.R. As a result, the observations have noted Cuba as having missiles that threaten the security of other nations. There is a change in status quo where strategic weapons are outside Soviet Union countries, which is not acceptable in America (Giel & Goldman, 2016).

Kennedy explains that there is lesson for Americans that war can result in situations of uncontrolled aggressive conduct. The only way to protect America is to prevent missile use against America and other nations. Moreover, Western hemisphere secures its withdrawal. Policies such as restrain and patience make a powerful and peaceful nation away from goal diversion by opposes and fanatics. Kennedy explains that they have a plan to cater for future nuclear war.

Kennedy outlined various steps to defend America and Western hemisphere. These include initiation of quarantine on any shipment of offensive military to Cuba. Kennedy ordered that ships loaded with cargoes containing offensive weapons turned back (Kennedy, 2016). The shipment quarantine will also involve other cargoes and carriers. The practice will ensure that life is not threatened. Secondly, Kennedy has directed a close watch on Cuba and its soldiers. Preparation of offensive weapons will be discontinued failure to which Armed forces of America will take necessary actions (Thompson, 2010).Third, any nuclear missile attack from Cuba to other nations in the western hemisphere will be considered as an attack by United States Soviet Union which will demand an explanation from the Soviet Union to United States. Fourth, Kennedy stated that he has strengthened Guantanamo base by transporting skilled personnel in the site and other military units are alert (Thompson, 2010).Fifth, Kennedy explained that there would be an immediate meeting with American states organizations to discuss the threat as a hemispheric security and consider article six and eight from Rio Treaty to support appropriate actions. The charter of United Nations will conduct security measures against outside military powers. Sixth, President Kennedy issued a command under the United Nations charter to conduct an emergency meeting of Security Council discussing on action towards Soviet Union threat. The meeting will resolve into a complete withdrawal of offensive weapons located in Cuba under U.N. supervision and observers before annunciation of the quarantine (Office of the Historian, Bureau of public affairs, 2016).Lastly, Kennedy requested Chairman Khrushchev to stop and remove existing threats that provoke world peace in the two nations. Moreover, Kennedy urged him to stop the quest for domination, join in the transformation of the human race, and change man’s history. Moreover, he proposed withdrawal of weapons from Cuba to end destruction and begin the search for peace and long lasting solutions.

John Kennedy concludes his speech by commenting an end to all destructive actions and plans. He speaks to Cuba captives who have American origin and tells them that those are not their leaders and that they are not for their good or peace. Kennedy remarks that he realizes their attachment to America and their aspirations for justice and freedom (Office of the Historian, Bureau of public affairs, 2016). Moreover, their revolution betrayal is under watch, however with sorrow. He comments that Cuba leaders have turned it into a place of war with nuclear weapons. He tells them that America does not wish to use their systems on them to harm them. Moreover, they understand that leaders deny their freedom (Belfer center for science and inetrantional affairs, 2016). Kennedy explains that he understands that most people in Cuba wait for their freedom to choose their leaders and systems as well as own their land. Moreover, they wish for freedom of worship, write, and speak. He strengthens citizens by telling them not to doubt the plan although it is dangerous and difficult. It will take much money and time. There will be casualties, sacrifice, and practice of self-discipline. Moreover, there will be a test on the patience and will of American government through their soldiers. They will know their dangers through threats posed on them (Belfer center for science and international affairs, 2016).

Kennedy explained his concern over peace threats and his proposal to make a peaceful world. Kennedy stresses that there are efforts to minimize spread of weapons in the world and employment of disarmament treaty to eliminate illegal military bases and arms. Moreover, he asserts that plans are there to conduct discussions that will eliminate tensions in both countries. In addition, the discussions will attempt in creating independent Cuba with freedom to choose its destiny. Kennedy promises to conduct hostile attacks against nations that will destroy the peace of people in the world.

Kennedy sums up his speech by explaining that the chosen path to save its nation is hazardous but through determination and character as well as commitment, they will gain freedom (Kennedy, 2015). The main goal of the plan is to vindicate people’s rights and attainment of peace.


The target audience of the speech was American citizens and other leaders from the neighboring countries. John Kennedy have objectives such as notifying them of existence of nuclear missiles in Cuba, raise awareness among all governmental and military groups of the happenings in Cuba, create confidence to American citizens that they will not be attacked by Cuba nuclear missiles, send reports to Cuba that American government and Soviet Union, are aware of their missile preparation to strike Western nations (Kennedy, 2016). Moreover objectives were to notify the soldiers of current trainings and weapons prepared in Cuba, Prepare American soldiers of unprepared attack from Cuba, make it known to American government that Cuba government is employing Soviet Union experts to train them on use of weapons and transporting their missiles to Cuba, and conduct urgent meetings to create awareness on what is to be done in quick response of such moves such as quarantine and controls of shipment and transport.

Origin of the speech

Kennedy delivered a speech on 22 November 1962, which originated from a missile crisis in Cuba. The crisis resulted in a tense situation causing a standoff of political and military sectors due to installation of soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba located ninety miles from United States shores. The scare led to a confrontation conducted for thirteen days, from October 16 to October 28 in 1962 between Soviet Union and the United States (Kruchev letter to President Kennedy, 2016). The discussion majored on ballistic missiles deployed in Cuba. It almost escalated into a nuclear war from its cold war state. John Kennedy had to issue a speech affirming the people of their preparedness to attack Cuba and destroy their nuclear weapons to eliminate threat on national security and peace. Moreover there was an increasing hostile relationship between Cuba and America whereby there was an attack launched on Cuba island termed as the failed bay of Pigs invasion conducted in 1961 making Khrushchev wish to deter further aggression in U.S.


The events presented by John Kennedy describing the nature of Cuba Missiles and their locations as well as the ongoing preparations by the soldiers validated the message of Cuba missiles presented in the speech.






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Thompson, J. (2010).The Cuban missile crisis in context. Rivier academic journal, 1(6), 1-12.

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