He has to know

October 18, 1962

Kennedy knows about the missiles. He has to know. I’ve told the Russians here on the island that Kennedy knows. If the exile worms know, then Kennedy knows. If the U.S. press knows—and they do, it is obvious—then Kennedy knows. When I say this to the Russians, they shrug their shoulders and say, hey, what can we do? We are just following our orders.

Secretly, I hope Kennedy does know. I really do. Of course, he is bound to know eventually. Nikita still thinks he will be coming to Cuba next month to announce it. The problem with that, if it happens, is that it will be all about Kennedy and Khrushchev, the U.S. and Russia. Cuba will, as usual, just be the pretext, the occasion for Nikita’s “victory” over Kennedy. But if Kennedy knows, and if he is preparing a surprise for Khrushchev, then Cuba will matter. As the crisis escalates, everyone will know this is where the action is, this is where brave Cubans are resisting the American empire, and this is where the hinge of the world is located. “Resistar”—I love this word—it is the heart and soul of our revolution. To resist—it is the nobility we have seized, as a former plaything of the U.S. empire. We will resist to the end.

Kennedy knows. I know he knows. That means Nikita is in for a big surprise—a surprise that will shock him. Of course, we told him so. But we will keep quiet about that.

The only question in my mind is: will the Americans attack massively, all at once? I think they will. I would, if I were in Kennedy’s shoes. I would make sure that I stepped on that little nuisance of an island, full of revolutionaries. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!