After Cold War, warmth
Kin of rivals have meeting
BY JOHN McELHENNY
BOSTON - Caroline Kennedy and Sergei Khrushchev met at the John
F. Kennedy Library 40 years after the Cuban Missile Crisis in what organizers
``the first meeting between the children of the men who in 1962 saved the world from a nuclear world war.''
Their fathers, President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita
Khrushchev, were at the center of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a moment historians
was the closest the world has come to nuclear war.
''It was quite emotional to realize that when our fathers transformed
the hours of danger into the beginnings of a process for peace,'' Caroline
said. ``They did it for us and for all children threatened by a world at war.''
The two viewed documents and letters exchanged between their
fathers during the crisis and examined a copy of the 1963 Nuclear Test
signed by their fathers that had been kept by Caroline's mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
They did not speak to the media about their meeting Sunday.
About 850 people attended a forum discussion that included Khrushchev,
former Kennedy advisors Arthur Schlessinger Jr. and Theodore Sorensen,
Josefina Vidal, first secretary of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, the official voice of the Cuban government in the United States.
Sergei Khrushchev said his father decided to send missiles to Cuba because he felt an obligation to defend it.
Khrushchev compared the defense of Cuba to the American commitment
to defend West Berlin. He said both superpowers needed to assure their
they were serious in their commitments.
The crisis began when Kennedy learned that Cuba had Soviet nuclear
missiles capable of reaching the United States. Days later, he ordered
blockade of Cuba.
The crisis ended two weeks later when Khrushchev promised to
remove the nuclear missiles in exchange for a promise by Kennedy not to
The United States also agreed to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey, a Soviet neighbor.