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Wednesday, October 16, 2002
Cuba etc.

Today is the fortieth anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis. I remember it well.

Let me try to summarise the relevant history in a few words. For whatever reason (fearing invasion sounds likely), Castro had agreed with Khruschev to install missiles in Cuba. These missiles, less than 100 miles from the US shoreline, brought cities like New York and Washington into range.

Here are the distances:
Havana-New York, 1310
Havana-Washington, 1128
Just for reference, here are some similar distances in Europe:
Minsk-Paris, 1134
Minsk-Frankfurt, 841
It is no wonder that European politicians thought John Kennedy had a bee in his bonnet about Cuba – Western Europe had had to live with missiles close by for a long time. (NB Minsk, Belarus was well within the Soviet Union then.)

This puts war with Iraq into perspective. Perhaps Dubya and his brilliant team of strategists should reconsider the lessons of Cuba. Clue: think propinquity – Baghdad to Washington is 6193 miles.

[Distances quoted can be checked and new ones calculated at this excellent site: - Josh]

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