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Cuban missile crisis beliefs endure after 50 years
Fact check » Most experts agree a compromise, not an ultimatum, ended the standoff.


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Reality » This myth has been perpetuated in part by the title of Robert F. Kennedy’s posthumous memoir, Thirteen Days, as well as the 2000 movie of the same name starring Kevin Costner.

Indeed it was 13 days from Oct. 16, when Kennedy was first told about the missiles, to Oct. 28, when the Soviets announced their withdrawal.

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But the "October Crisis," as it is known in Cuba, dragged on for another tense month or so in what Kornbluh dubs the "November Extension," as Washington and Moscow haggled over details of exactly what weapons would be removed.

The Soviet Union also had problems dealing with Fidel Castro, according to a Soviet document made public this month by Svetlana Savranskaya, a Russia analyst for the National Security Archive.

Deputy Premier Anastas Mikoyan traveled to Cuba that Nov. 2 and spent 20 days in tense talks with the Cuban leader, who was angry the Soviets had reached a deal without consulting him. Castro lobbied hard but unsuccessfully to keep the tactical nuclear weapons that the Americans had not learned about.




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