Honor, honor, honor—it’s all Fidel talks about

September 14, 1962

Our new ambassador in Havana, Aleksander Alekseev, tells us that the mercenary bands—the exile terrorists supported by the CIA—remind him of the Tsarist bands who left Russia after our revolution. The hoi polloi of Russian exiles wound up in—where else?—Paris. They took their money and ran. Some are still living it up in places like Paris. All of them cherish dreams of returning to rule the country again, setting up some Tsar, and taking power away from the people and the Communist Party. Fat chance!

I’m not sure Alekseev is right, however. The Cuban exiles have a lot of support from the CIA and certain parts of the American political scene. Our intelligence people say that the Cuban exiles have the third largest naval force in the world, if you can believe it. The Russian exiles had nothing like that.

Anyway, it’s not the exiles that concern me; it’s the U.S.  Military. Fidel says we need not worry—that the Cubans will acquit themselves with honor if the Americans invade the island. Honor, honor, honor—it’s all Fidel talks about sometimes. How about winning, winning, winning? What the hell good is acting honorably if the Americans turn you into burnt toast? This is why I wish Fidel and his colleagues would cool it with the rhetoric. The worst outcome would be for the Americans and their exiles friends to invade Cuba before our weapons are operational.

I need to tell Alekseev to tell Comrade Fidel to stifle himself, at least until I come to Cuba in November to announce the deployment. Then he can shoot his mouth off all he wants.