On October 14, 1962 JFK’s National Security advisor, Mc George Bundy, appeared on ABC’s “Issues and Answers” to rebut hysteria from some tinfoil-hatters of the time. “Nothing but refugee rumors,” sneered Bundy regarding reports from Cuban- exiles about Soviet missiles going up in Cuba. For months, Cuban freedom-fighters (mostly youths and college kids) had been risking death by KGB-tutored torture and firing squads by infiltrating Cuba to obtain these eyewitness reports of missiles and passing them to the CIA and U.S. State Dept.
“Nothing in Cuba presents a threat to the United States,” continued the Ivy League luminary, Bundy-- barely masking his scorn for these hot-headed, tacky and deceitful Cubans. “There’s no likelihood that the Soviets or Cubans would try and install an offensive capability in Cuba,” he scoffed. “There’s fifty-odd-thousand Cuban refugees in this country,” added President Kennedy himself the following day, “all living for the day when we go to war with Cuba. They’re the ones putting out this kind of stuff.”
Exactly 48 hours later U-2 photos sat on JFK’s desk revealing those “refugee rumors,” sitting in Cuba, nuclear armed, and pointed directly at Bundy, JFK and their entire staff of sagacious Ivy League wizards. Not that the Knights of Camelot were knocked off balance! Hah! Instead they set their jaws, rolled up their sleeves and met the challenge head-on—or so the MSM/Hollywood story goes. Perhaps a refresher on the Conservative and military reaction to JFK's Missile Crisis "resolution" of the time is in order. "We've been had!" yelled then Navy chief George Anderson upon hearing on October 26, 1962 how JFK "solved" the Missile Crisis. Admiral Anderson was the man in charge of the "blockade" against Cuba. "The biggest defeat in our nation's history!" bellowed Air Force chief Curtis LeMay while whacking his fist on his desk.
"We missed the big boat," Said General Maxwell Taylor after learning the details of the deal with Khrushchev.
"Kennedy pulled defeat out of the jaws of victory," wrote Richard Nixon, "then gave the Soviets squatters' rights in our backyard."
"It's a public relations fable that Khrushchev quailed before Kennedy," wrote Alexander Haig. "The legend of the eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation invented by Kennedy's men paid a handsome political dividend. But so much that happened was obscured by stage-management designed to divert public attention from embarrassing facts. The Kennedy-Khrushchev deal was a deplorable error resulting in political havoc and human suffering through the Americas." Even Democrats despaired. "This nation lacks leadership," said Dean Acheson, the Democratic elder statesman who Kennedy consulted on the matter. "The meetings were repetitive and without direction. Most members of Kennedy's team had no military or diplomatic experience whatsoever. The sessions were a waste of time."
But not for the Soviets. In his memoirs, Nikita Khrushchev couldn’t help but snicker: "It would have been ridiculous for us to go to war over Cuba - for a country 12,000 miles away. For us, war was unthinkable. [So much for all the media and Hollywood hype of those heart-thumping, peril-filled "Thirteen Days."Ah!!!!) We ended up getting exactly what we'd wanted all along,” Khrushchev continued snickering, “security for Fidel Castro's regime and American missiles removed from Turkey. Until today the U.S. has complied with her promise not to interfere with Castro and not to allow anyone else to interfere with Castro [italics mine, a very important item usually “overlooked,” by “historians”]. JFK's "dreary account of mismanagement, timidity and indecision," as Eisenhower described his handling of the Bay of Pigs invasion a year earlier, emboldened the Soviets to install nuclear missiles in Cuba in the first place.
After the "resolution," some of the very Cuban freedom fighters who had smuggled out intelligence on the Soviet missiles found themselves stranded in a Cuba swarming with Soviet soldiers. Many of these young heroes huddled in mangrove swamps along Cuba's coast, dodging Castro patrols and waiting for their scheduled "exfiltration" by motorboats back to the U.S. Their wait was vain. Their mission accomplished, their evidence to the New Frontiersmen about weapons of serious mass destruction 90 miles away and hosted by the most pathologically anti-American regime in history delivered, these heroes promptly fell through the cracks of the Kennedy-Khrushchev deal.
They were expendable.
"Let's be careful not to let any of these Cuban refugees upset the deal" were JFK's words to his attorney general brother on the night of October 28, 1962. So the scheduled boat runs to the Cuban coast by the infiltrators' comrades to carry them back were canceled. Suddenly these runs were impediments to Camelot's delicate diplomacy, you see.
Meanwhile, back in Cuba's mangroves, "Alto! ... Who goes there? Gun bolts slam and the shooting starts. Several of these (now) irksome "Cuban refugees" - completely abandoned - now died in suicidal firefights against Castro's troops and their Soviet handlers. Several more were captured, tortured and finally bound to the stake in front of the blood- and bone-flecked paredon (firing-squad wall). "VIVA CUBA LIBRE! " they yelled.
FUEGO!! yelled the Communist firing squad captain. "Cause of death was internal hemorrhaging caused by firearm projectiles" read the official death certificates delivered by Castro's government to thousands of ashen-faced Cuban families.
After the Missile Crisis "resolution," the U.S. Coast Guard and even the British navy (when some intrepid exile freedom fighters moved their operation to the Bahamas) shielded Castro from exile attacks. In the Florida Keys and Bahamas they were arresting and disarming the very exiles the CIA had been training and arming the month before.
Much of his fame in the Third World, on college campuses (especially among faculties) and in Europe stems from the fable of Castro "defying" a superpower. In fact, he survived because of a sweetheart deal that allowed him to hide behind the skirts of two superpowers.