New Book Reveals Untold Story of the Cuban Missile Crisis

Fifty years ago, Cuba was preparing to become the first nuclear power in Latin America—at the time when the Kennedy administration thought that the Cuban Missile Crisis was long resolved and the Soviet missiles were out. However, the Soviet and the Cuban leadership knew that the most dangerous weapons of the crisis—tactical Lunas and FKRs—were still in Cuba.

Lunas and FKRs were battlefield weapons, which would have been used against the U.S. landing forces if the EXCOMM had decided on an invasion, not the quarantine. The Soviets intended for them to stay in Cuba secretly because they were not part of the Kennedy-Khrushchev understandings, while the Cubans wanted to keep them to defend against another U.S. invasion. But Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Anastas Mikoyan brought the final resolution to the Cuban Missile crisis on November 22, 1962 in his four-hour conversation with the top Cuban leadership: the tactical nuclear weapons would have to leave Cuba.

These revelations come from documents donated to the National Security Archive by the late Sergo A. Mikoyan. With support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, the documents are being published for the first time in English in the book by Sergo Mikoyan, edited by Svetlana Savranskaya, The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis: Castro, Mikoyan, Kennedy, Khrushchev and the Missiles of November (Stanford University Press/Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2012). The documents are the first part of the publication of the donated "Mikoyan archive" by Carnegie Corporation grantee the National Security Archive.

Recent articles about The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis:

"General’s 1962 Memo Addresses Nuclear Combat on Cuba"
New York Times

“Pentagon Estimated 18,500 U.S. Casualties in Cuba Invasion 1962, But If Nukes Launched, ‘Heavy Losses’ Expected”
National Security Archive

Cuban Missile Crisis Belief Endure After 50 Years
Associated Press

Cuba Almost Became a Nuclear Power in 1962
Foreign Policy