I want to say to you,
Mr. Zorin, that I do not have your talent for obfuscation, for distortion, for
confusing language, and for doubletalk. And
I must confess to you that I am glad that I do not!
if I understood what you said, you said that my position had changed, that today
I was defensive because we did not have the evidence to prove our assertions,
that your Government had installed long-range missiles in Cuba.
let me say something to you, Mr. Ambassador—we do have the evidence. We have
it, and it is clear and it is incontrovertible. And let me say something
else—those weapons must be taken out of Cuba.
let me say to you that, if I understood you, with a trespass on credibility that
excels your best, you said that our position had changed since I spoke here the
other day because of the pressures of world opinion and the majority of the
United Nations. Well, let me say to you, sir, you are wrong again. We have had
no pressure from anyone whatsoever. We came in here today to indicate our
willingness to discuss Mr. U Thant’s proposals, and that is the only change
that has taken place.
let me also say to you, sir, that there has been a change. You—the Soviet
Union has sent these weapons to Cuba. You—the Soviet Union has upset the
balance of power in the world. You—the Soviet Union has created this new
danger, not the United States.
you ask with a fine show of indignation why the President did not tell Mr.
Gromyko on last Thursday about our evidence, at the very time that Mr. Gromyko
was blandly denying to the President that the U.S.S.R. was placing such weapons
on sites in the new world.
I will tell you why—because we were assembling the evidence, and perhaps it
would be instructive to the world to see how a Soviet official—how far he
would go in perfidy. Perhaps we wanted to know if this country faced another
example of nuclear deceit like that one a year ago, when in stealth, the Soviet
Union broke the nuclear test moratorium.
while we are asking questions, let me ask you why your Government—your Foreign
Minister—deliberately, cynically deceived us about the nuclear build-up in
finally, the other day, Mr. Zorin, I remind you that you did not deny the
existence of these weapons. Instead, we heard that they had suddenly become
defensive weapons. But today again if I heard you correctly, you now say that
they do not exist, or that we haven’t proved they exist, with another fine
flood of rhetorical scorn.
right, sir, let me ask you one simple question: Do you, Ambassador Zorin, deny
that the U.S.S.R. has placed and is placing medium- and intermediate-range
missiles and sites in Cuba? Yes or no—don’t wait for the translation—yes
Soviet representative refused to answer.)
can answer yes or no. You have denied they exist. I want to know if I understood
you correctly. I am prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over, if
that’s your decision. And I am also prepared to present the evidence in this
President called on the representative of Chile to speak, but Ambassador
Stevenson continued as follows.)
have not finished my statement. I asked you a question. I have had no reply to
the question, and I will now proceed, if I may, to finish my statement.
doubt if anyone in this room, except possibly the representative of the Soviet
Union, has any doubt about the facts. But in view of his statements and the
statements of the Soviet Government up until last Thursday, when Mr. Gromyko
denied the existence or any intention of installing such weapons in Cuba, I am
going to make a portion of the evidence available right now. If you will indulge
me for a moment, we will set up an easel here in the back of the room where I
hope it will be visible to everyone.
The first of these exhibits shows an area north of the village of Candelaria, near San Cristóbal, southwest of Habana. A map, together with a small photograph, shows precisely where the area is in Cuba.
The first photograph shows the area in late August 1962; it was then, if you can see from where you are sitting, only a peaceful countryside.
The second photograph shows the same area one day last week. A few tents and vehicles had come into the area, new spur roads had appeared, and the main road had been improved.
The third photograph, taken only twenty-four hours later, shows facilities for a medium-range missile battalion installed. There are tents for 400 or 500 men. At the end of the new spur road there are seven 1,000-mile missile trailers. There are four launcher-erector mechanisms for placing these missiles in erect firing position. This missile is a mobile weapon, which can be moved rapidly from one place to another. It is identical with the 1,000-mile missiles which have been displayed in Moscow parades. All of this, I remind you, took place in twenty-four hours.
The second exhibit, which you can all examine at your leisure, shows three successive photographic enlargements of another missile base of the same type in the area of San Cristóbal. These enlarged photographs clearly show six of these missiles on trailers and three erectors.
And that is only one example of the first type of ballistic missile installation in Cuba.
A second type of installation is designed for a missile of intermediate range—a range of about 2,200 miles. Each site of this type has four launching pads.
The exhibit on this type of missile shows a launching area being constructed near Guanajay, southwest of the city of Habana. As in the first exhibit, a map and small photograph show this area as it appeared in late August 1962, when no military activities were apparent.
A second large photograph shows the same area about six weeks later. Here you will see a very heavy construction effort to push the launching area to rapid completion. The pictures show two large concrete bunkers or control centers in process of construction, one between each pair of launching pads. They show heavy concrete retaining walls being erected to shelter vehicles and equipment from rocket blast-off. They show cable scars leading from the launch pads to the bunkers. They show a large reinforced concrete building under construction. A building with a heavy arch may well be intended as the storage area for the nuclear warheads. The installation is not yet complete, and no warheads are yet visible.
The next photograph shows a closer view of the same intermediate-range launch site. You can clearly see one of the pairs of large concrete launch pads, with a concrete building from which launching operations for three pads are controlled. Other details are visible, such as fuel tanks.
And that is only one example, one illustration, of the work being furnished in Cuba on intermediate-range missile bases.
Now, in addition to missiles, the Soviet Union is installing other offensive weapons in Cuba. The next photograph is of an airfield at San Julián in western Cuba. On this field you will see twenty-two crates designed to transport the fuselages of Soviet llyushin-28 bombers. Four of the aircraft are uncrated, and one is partially assembled. These bombers, sometimes known as Beagles, have an operating radius of about 750 miles and are capable of carrying nuclear weapons. At the same field you can see one of the surface-to-air antiaircraft guided missile bases, with six missiles per base, which now ring the entire coastline of Cuba.
Another set of two photographs covers still another area of deployment of medium-range missiles in Cuba. These photographs are on a larger scale than the others and reveal many details of an improved field-type launch site. One photograph provides an overall view of most of the site; you can see clearly three of the four launching pads. The second photograph displays details of two of these pads. Even an eye untrained in photographic interpretation can clearly see the buildings in which the missiles are checked out and maintained ready to fire, a missile trailer, trucks to move missiles out to the launching pad, erectors to raise the missiles to launching position, tank trucks to provide fuel, vans from which the missile firing is controlled, in short, all of the requirements to maintain, load, and fire these terrible weapons.
These weapons, gentlemen, these launching pads, these planes—of which we have illustrated only a fragment—are a part of a much larger weapons complex, what is called a weapons system.
To support this build-up, to operate these advanced weapons systems, the Soviet Union has sent a large number of military personnel to Cuba—a force now amounting to several thousand men.
These photographs, as I say, are available to members for detailed examination in the Trusteeship Council room following this meeting. There I will have one of my aides who will gladly explain them to you in such detail as you may require.
I have nothing further to say at this time.
(After another statement by the Soviet representative, Ambassador Stevenson replied as follows:)
Mr. President and gentlemen, I won’t detain you but one minute.
I have not had a direct answer to my question. The representative of the Soviet Union says that the official answer of the U.S.S.R. was the Tass statement that they don’t need to locate missiles in Cuba. Well, I agree—they don’t need to. But the question is, have they missiles in Cuba—and that question remains unanswered. I knew it would be.
As to the authenticity of the photographs, which Mr. Zorin has spoken about with such scorn, I wonder if the Soviet Union would ask its Cuban colleague to permit a U.N. team to go to these sites. If so, I can assure you that we can direct them to the proper places very quickly.
And now I hope that we can get down to business, that we can atop this sparring. We know the facts, and so do you, sir, and we are ready to talk about them. Our job here is not to score debating points. Our job, Mr. Zorin, is to save the peace. And if you are ready to try, we are.
Source: U.S., Department of State, Bulletin, Volume XLVII, No. 1220 (November 12, 1962), pp. 737-740. (Ambassador Stevenson’s second statement of October 25, 1962. U.S./U.N. press release 4074, October 25, 1962.)
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