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President Kennedy's Address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 4/20/61 (TNC:197)

Jun 06, 2021
from Washington DC CBS News presents a speech by John F. Kennedy, President of the United States, the President will speak to members of the American Society of Newspaper Publishers who were holding their 39th annual convention which was originally to be lunched by the CEO at the Statler Hilton Hotel with the

editors

but earlier today he changed his plans presumably because of the international situation and because he wanted more time to devote to his speech the

president

met with his cabinet during the morning the session was scheduled some time ago but it is understood that the cuban situation was discussed mr.
president kennedy s address to the american society of newspaper editors 4 20 61 tnc 197
Kennedy's speech this afternoon is expected to

address

both the Cuban situation and the ocean situation. The arrangement suggests that the most important speech he will deliver to the

president

will be Turner Catledge, managing editor of The New York Times and president of the Publisher Publisher Society now here is Mr. Catholic ladies and gentlemen the president of the United States College members of the American Society

newspaper

publishers ladies and gentlemen the president of a great democracy like ours and the

editors

of great

newspaper

s like yours Oh, a common obligation to the people, an obligation to present the facts to present them frankly and to Presenting them in perspective is without obligation to take into account that I have decided in the last 24 hours to briefly comment at this moment on the recent events in Cuba on that unhappy Island, as in so many other scenarios of the fight for freedom, the news has gotten worse instead of better.
president kennedy s address to the american society of newspaper editors 4 20 61 tnc 197

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president kennedy s address to the american society of newspaper editors 4 20 61 tnc 197...

I have emphasized before that this was a fight of Cuban patriots against a Cuban dictator although it is not possible to hated to expect us to hide our sympathies, we repeatedly made it clear that the military of this country would not intervene in any way. Any unilateral American intervention in the absence of an external attack against us or an ally would have been contrary to our traditions and our international obligations, but let it be recorded that our restraint is not inexhaustible if it ever appears that the inter-American doctrine of non-interference simply covers up or excuses a policy of no action if the nations of this hemisphere fail to meet their commitments against foreign communist penetration, then I want let it be clearly understood that this government will not hesitate to meet its primary obligations, which are the security of our nation, should that time come, we do not intend to be lectured about intervention by those whose character was forever stamped in the bloody streets of Budapes We would neither expect nor accept the same outcome as this small group of Cuban refugees from Galán must have known that they were haphazardly determined, as they were against the odds, to continue their valiant attempts to recapture their islands. freedom, but Cuba is not an island in itself and our concern does not end with mere expressions of non-intervention.
president kennedy s address to the american society of newspaper editors 4 20 61 tnc 197
It is not the first time in ancient or recent history that a small group of freedom fighters have armed themselves with the armor of totalitarianism. It is not the first time that communist tanks have crushed brave men and women fighting to redeem the independence of their homeland nor is it by any means the final episode in the eternal fight for freedom against tyranny anywhere in the glare of the globe, including Cuba itself mr. Castro has said that they were mercenaries, according to press reports. The final message to be conveyed by the refugee forces on the beach came from the rebel commander when asked if he wished to be evacuated.
president kennedy s address to the american society of newspaper editors 4 20 61 tnc 197
His response was: I will never leave this country that is not him. The response of a mercenary has now gone to join the mountains with innumerable other guerrillas who are equally determined that the surrender of those who gave their lives will not be forgotten and that Cuba must not be abandoned to the communists and we do not intend to inactive inactive the people cuban has not yet delivered their last piece and I have no doubt that they and the Revolutionary Council headed by dr. kay Dona and the members of the families of the revolutionary council that the doctor informed me yesterday are involved in the island will continue to speak for a free and independent Cuba meanwhile we will not accept mr.
Castro's attempts to blame this nation for the hatred that was once his supporters now refer to his repression, but there are useful lessons for all of us to learn from this sobering episode. the forces of communism should not be underestimated in cuba or anywhere else in the world the advantages of a police state its use of massive tariffs and arrests to prevent the spread of free dissent cannot be overlooked by those expecting the fall of every fanatical tyrant if the self-discipline of the free cannot match the ionic discipline of the armed fist in economics, political science, and all other types of struggle, as well as in the military, and the danger of liberty will continue to increase, second First, it is clear that this nation in concert with all the free nations of this hemisphere must take an ever closer and more realistic look at the Threat of foreign communist intervention and domination in Cuba t The American people are not complacent about tanks and planes from the Turkish Iron Curtain less than 90 miles off its coast, but a nation the size of Cuba is less a threat to our survival than a ba It is to subvert the survival of other free nations throughout the hemisphere.
It is not primarily our interest or our safety, but theirs, who is now in the great regalia today, it is for their sake as well as ours that we must show our will, the evidence is clear and the hour is late, we and our Latino friends we will have to face the fact that we can no longer postpone the real issue of the survival of freedom in this very hemisphere on that issue unlike perhaps some others, there can be no middle ground together we must build a hemisphere where the freedom can flourish and where any free nation under external attack of any kind can be sure that all our resources are ready to respond to any request for third party assistance and finally it is clearer than ever that we face an implacable struggle on the eve of every corner of the world. that it goes far beyond the clash of armies or even nuclear weapons.
The armies are there and in great numbers we arm them. Nuclear entents are there, but they serve mainly as a shield behind which subversion infiltration and a host of other tactics are constantly advancing selecting vulnerable areas one by one in situations that do not allow for our own armed intervention power is the hallmark of this offensive power and discipline and deceit the legitimate discontent of anxious people is exploited the legitimate traps of self-determination are employed but once in power all discontent is suppressed all self-determination is suppressed and the promise of a revolution of hope is betrayed as in Cuba in a reign of terror those who want instruction organize automatic riots in the streets of free nations by the efforts of a small group of youths the children to regain their freedom must remember the long list of refugees who now cannot return to Hungary to North Korea to North Vietnam to East Germany or Poland or to any of the other lands from which a constant stream of refugees pours out in eloquent testimony to the cruel oppression now dominating their homeland, we cannot fail to see the insidious nature of this new and deeper struggle, we dare not fail to grasping the new concepts, the new tools, the new sense of urgency that we will need to fight it, whether in Cuba or in South Vietnam, and we keep noticing that this fight is being waged every day without fanfare in thousands . from towns and markets day and night and in classrooms around the world the message of the layoffs in Cuba the growing roar of communist voices in Asia and Latin America these messages are all the same the complacent societies the self indulgent are about to be swept away with the rubble of history only the strong only the industrious only the determined only the brave only the visionaries who determined the true nature of our struggle cannot survive This country or this administration faces a greater task.
No other challenge is more worth all our efforts and energy. For too long we have fixed our eyes on traditional military necessities. In armies prepared to cross borders. In ready-to-fly missiles. Now it must be clear that this is No More now that our security can be lost to the east piecemeal country by country without a single missile launch or a single border crossing we intend to profit from this lesson we intend to reexamine and refocus our forces of all kinds our our tactics and our institutions here in this community we intend to intensify our efforts for a fight in many ways more difficult than war where disillusionment will often accompany us or I am convinced that we in this country and in the In the free world we have the necessary resources and the added ability and strength that comes from a belief in the freedom of man, and I am equally convinced that history will record the fact that this bitter struggle reached its climax in the late 1950s and In the early 1960's, let me make it clear, as President of the United States, that I am determined that our system To survive and succeed, regardless of cost and danger, thank you.

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