JFK and Khrushchev meet in Vienna: June 3, - POLITICO
President Kennedy faced a foe more relentless than Khrushchev, just across the This presented an early problem for Kennedy, in that Burke “pushed his affairs with bluff naval persistence,” the Kennedy aide and historian. Already in Vienna Kennedy was distraught that Khrushchev, assuming that he was weak and “I've got two problems,” Kennedy told Reston. In addition to Berlin, Kennedy later told reporters, Khrushchev had berated him on a wide range of Cold War issues, including “wars of national.
Only 15 years after the end of that war, Germany again posed a "military threat" as a member of NATO.
Such a treaty, he argued, "would not prejudice the interests of the U. Kennedy replied that American forces occupied Berlin "by contractual rights" rather than by the agreement of East Germans. Although Kennedy argued that the current balance of power in Germany was effective, Khrushchev said that "no force in the world would prevent the USSR from signing a peace treaty. He insisted that the city of Berlin should belong solely to the German Democratic Republic.
West Germany, Khrushchev told Kennedy, would remain under American influence. Kennedy countered by saying that the U. In light of this remark, Khrushchev suggested that an "interim arrangement" be considered. Khrushchev only rebuffed the United States for playing a significant role in the overthrowing of the Laos government.
The next day, Kennedy approached the Laos subject again. This time, Khrushchev negotiated more willingly.
Vienna summit - Wikipedia
This agreement proved to be one of the only accomplishments of the Vienna Summit. Topping correctly identified the major points of conversation that dominated the conference—the Berlin and Laos questions.
Clearly, both the Americans and the Soviets had ample information regarding the other's position prior to the opening of the Summit. However, no one could predict the outcome of the summit, including the leaders' reactions to each other.
For the Americans, the summit was initially seen as a diplomatic triumph. He had adequately stalled Khrushchev and made it clear that the United States was not willing to compromise on a withdrawal from Berlin, whatever pressure Khrushchev may exert on the "testicles of the West," as Khrushchev once called them.
In retrospect the summit may be seen as a failure. The two leaders became increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress of the negotiations. Kennedy later said of Khrushchev, "He beat the hell out of me" and told New York Times reporter James 'Scotty' Reston it was the "worst thing in my life. In his memoir, Khrushchev showed ambivalence.
He proclaimed, "I was generally pleased with our meeting in Vienna. Even though we came to no concrete agreement, I could tell that [Kennedy] was interested in finding a peaceful solution to world problems and avoiding conflict with the Soviet Union. Khrushchev outmatched Kennedy in this debate and came away believing he had triumphed in the summit over a weak and inexperienced leader.
Observing Kennedy's morose expression at the end of the summit, Khrushchev believed Kennedy "looked not only anxious, but deeply upset I hadn't meant to upset him. While the crisis is historically the "Cuban" crisis, Cuba was perhaps a subsidiary consideration for Khrushchev, as Castro later noted — ruefully — in conversation with Soviet emissary Anastas Mikoyan: Shipping nuclear missiles to Cuba in secret was, in fact, Khrushchev's dangerous quick fix — militarily and psychological — for a substantial strategic imbalance between the superpowers.
Of course, the defence of Cuba by deterrence remained a part of the equation.
JFK Was Completely Unprepared For His Summit with Khrushchev
Too often forgotten is that Kennedy, using mercenaries, had tried, and failedto remove Castro at the Bay of Pigs in April The US had then continued a vicious and extensive campaign of overt and covert aggression against Cuba, encompassing harassment, sabotage, economic and political warfare, plans to destroy the sugar crop and to assassinate Castro.
Kennedy — and, possibly even more, his brother Robert — wanted to see Castro finished. The secrecy essential to Khrushchev's plan was breached when a U-2 overflight of Cuba spotted the missiles on 14 October. Kennedy had the aerial photographs on his desk on 16 October, initiating "13 days" of an "eyeball to eyeball" crisis, which ended on 28 October.
The worst day of JFK’s life
In fact, the crisis was shorter and arguably less dangerous than often portrayed. Kennedy instituted a naval blockade of Cuba on 24 October, but Soviet ships were instructed not to breach it. And Soviet records show that on 25 October, the leadership was already considering dismantling the missiles in return for "pledges not to touch Cuba".