Granma International
October 14, 2002

Schlesinger states that all participants talked from a constructive and peaceful perspective

                   HISTORICAL protagonists of the Cold War’s most dramatic
                   days, as the October Crisis has been called, have agreed in
                   highlighting the lessons of this year’s conference. This is also
                   the case of Arthur Schlesinger Jr., advisor to the late John F.

                   Schlesinger, who played an important role in the
                   decision-making of those days, confirmed he was convinced
                   the meeting had been a success, he had found it very useful
                   and believes that once again all those who played their part
                   in the October 1962 events plus present-day scholars have
                   learned a lot.

                   Whilst talking to the National News Agency (AIN), Schlesinger
                   noted the importance of the recently concluded document
                   declassification, considering it productive and useful for the
                   recent meeting, recognizing its contribution in helping to
                   understand opinions and decisions adopted at a specific

                   The 85 year-old politician assured he was happy to participate
                   in the event where everyone spoke from a constructive and
                   peaceful perspective.

                   He shared his opinion that it was useful to clarify as much as
                   possible what had happened for the sake of history, because
                   memories begin to fade with the passing of time. For
                   example, someone presents a document and asks ‘why did
                   the president sign this’ and in all honesty one may not
                   remember the text nor the reason it was signed.


                   Regarding the controversial rumor that Kennedy was
                   considering improving relations with Cuba after the October
                   Crisis, his former advisor -considered one of the men most
                   identified with the assassinated president - firmly confirmed
                   the theory.

                   Schlesinger noted that he was a direct witness to those
                   intentions, and recalled how Kennedy had mentioned more
                   than once that, despite other issues demanding his attention,
                   the president was thinking of ways and means for having
                   better rapprochment with Havana.

                   When asked if he remembered what steps the president
                   planned to take to make that happen, Schlesinger mentioned
                   a letter, the contents of which he could not specifically recall,
                   which was addressed to the Cuban government and sent via
                   the Brazilian government.

                   He concluded by stating that Kennedy’s efforts were cut short
                   by his assassination at the end of that year.