Break the news

September 17, 1962

This is unbelievable: yesterday, the first big nuclear missiles arrived on the island. I saw them. Everybody near Mariel, the port where they arrived, saw them. I assume the gringos saw them. They must have seen them. How could they not see them? So why is Kennedy playing this cat and mouse game, now that the big ones are here. Does he not know? I keep telling the Russians: you should break the news to Kennedy right away. That way, you control the terms of the confrontation. You just say: “here they are, gringos. They are ready to launch if you try anything against Cuba.” Or maybe Comrade Nikita is waiting for us to do it.

No. I think he is just afraid and, being a superpower bully—a benevolent bully, mostly—he thinks he is always right. He is in for a big surprise, when Kennedy blows his top as all this becomes public. It will be as big a surprise to Nikita as the surprise Nikita has for Kennedy. What then? Boom!