Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
This Is How The US Military Would Have Invaded Cuba In 1962
Attention, people of Cuba: Obey the orders of the U.S. Army, or suffer the consequences.
This is what the Cubans would have been told, had the United States invaded the island during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
“Resistance to the United States armed forces will be forcefully stamped out. Serious offenders will be dealt with severely,” read a draft proclamation that would have been broadcast to the Cuban people, according to declassified documents obtained by the National Security Archive group.
Proclamation No. 1 of the U.S. military occupation would have read:
“To the people of Cuba,
“Whereas the aggressive and illegal acts of the Castro regime against humanity have violated international law and the fundamental principles of freedom and independence of nations: and whereas the United States of America, in order to honor its obligations and to secure itself and the other free nations of the world against the threats generated by these aggressive actions of the Castro regime, has been required to enter into armed conflict with the forces of the Castro regime; and whereas the people of the United States have never during the Castro dictatorship lost their feeling of warm friendship for the people of Cuba and whereas the armed forces of the United States will protect the people of Cuba in the peaceful exercise of their legitimate pursuits insofar as exigencies of war will permit. . . .”
Beneath the velvet we-come-in-peace language was the iron words of a no-nonsense military occupation. Cubans would have been told to obey all orders of U.S. troops, or be hauled before a military court. “Resistance to the United States armed forces will be forcefully stamped out,” the proclamation warned. “Serious offenders will be dealt with severely.”
Recommended: Why Doesn't America Just Kill Kim Jong-un?
Cuban schools and courts would be closed until further notice. However, Cuban government officials would remain at their posts.
“When the aggressive Castro regime has been completely destroyed, and arrangements made to provide a democratic government responsive to the desires and needs of the people of Cuba, United States armed forces will depart and the traditional friendship of the United States and the government of Cuba will be assured,” the proclamation concluded with a flourish.
Words like “friendship” and “democratic” might have sounded hollow to Cubans emerging from the rubble of their homes, especially since Cuba had technically not committed an act of war against the United States in 1962 (if anything, the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961 could be construed as an act of war by the United States against Cuba).
Recommended: 5 Reasons No Nation Wants to Go to War with Israel
On the other hand, the U.S. proclamation was refreshingly direct, if harsh. No pretentious talk of nation building. The message was clear: the U.S. military controls Cuba. Obey or face the consequences. One wonders whether such an approach in Iraq in 2003 might have avoided some of the chaos and bloodshed.
Of course, before an invading army can issue an occupation proclamation, it actually needs to conquer the territory in question. Operation Ortsac, the planned invasion of Cuba, called for amphibious and airborne landings by the First and Second Marine and the Eighty-Second and 101st Airborne divisions.
As it turns out, the U.S. badly underestimated the difficulty of invading Cuba. The Americans estimated there were ten thousand Soviet troops in Cuba. Theactual number was forty-three thousand, in addition to 270,000 Cuban regular troops and militia.
More ominously, it wasn’t until 1992 that the United States learned what else awaited an invasion force. “Soviet officials also disclosed that they had sent Havana short-range nuclear weapons and that Soviet commanders there were authorized to use them in the event of an American invasion,” according to the New York Times. There were nine short-range tactical missiles with small six- to twelve-ton nuclear warheads. The missiles didn’t have the range to reach the U.S. mainland, but they could have devastated an assault force.
Just as ominously, Soviet officials later admitted that they had not considered just how the United States, which felt provoked by nuclear-tipped missiles deployed ninety miles from Florida, might have responded to atomic weapons being dropped on its invasion force.
There is no doubt that the United States could have conquered Cuba in 1962. Whether there would have been anything left of Cuba—or America, or Russia—other than radioactive rubble is another matter.
Read more from The National Interest:
A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.
It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.
Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.
No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.
Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.
"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.
Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.
In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.
"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.