Nikita Khrushchev promises to defend Cuba (1960)

In July 1960 Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev delivered a speech to teachers in Moscow, in which he promised to defend Cuba from American aggression:

“A few days ago the governor of the state of New York, Rockefeller, openly called for struggle against the government of Cuba and the Cuban people. He advised that a course directed against Cuba should be taken and that the regime chosen by the people should be stifled through economic blockade.

Rockefeller’s pronouncements are an obvious example of the aggressive actions of American politicians who are not accustomed to taking the will of the people into account. But the times when the United States diktat prevailed is over. The Soviet Union is raising its voice on behalf of and offering help to the people of Cuba, who are fighting for their independence.

The times are not now the same as they were when only one working class was raising the banner of struggle… Times are quite different now. Over 1,000 million people live in states where the working class and the working people have triumphed and where the glorious banner of Marxism-Leninism is flying. The world socialist camp is now stronger than ever before. The peoples of the socialist countries will help their Cuban brothers to uphold their independence with the object of frustrating the economic blockade the United States of America has just declared against Cuba…

It is clear to everybody that economic blockade by the American monopolists can be a prelude to intervention against Cuba. Therefore we must speak up in defence of Cuba and give warning that the imperialists can no longer rob and divide the world as they please, each choosing any piece for himself, as they used to do in the past. Today the peoples of the colonial and dependent countries rebel and fight successfully to rid themselves of the shameful colonial yoke and of enslavement by the United States imperialists.

For our part, we shall do everything to support Cuba and her courageous people in their struggle for the freedom and national independence which they have won under the leadership of their national leader, Fidel Castro.The socialist states and all peoples who stand for peace will support the Cuban people in their just struggle and no one will succeed in enslaving the Cubans.

It should be borne in mind that the United States is now not at such an inaccessible distance from the Soviet Union as formerly. Figuratively speaking, if need be, Soviet artillerymen can support the Cuban people with their rocket fire, should the aggressive forces in the Pentagon dare to start intervention against Cuba. And the Pentagon would be well advised not to forget that… we have rockets which land accurately in a predetermined square target 13,000 kilometres away. This, if you wish, is a warning to those who might like to solve international problems by force and riot by reason.”