The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON —It seems to me Soviet Ambassador Valerian A. Zorin made a very unfortunate speech in the United Nations on Wednesday afternoon.

It is well known that both military and economic aid is being given to the Castro regime in Cuba by the Soviet Union—and, according to Premier Khrushchev, with no strings attached—but Mr. Zorin now announces that if the United States or any other country interferes with Cuba's affairs this will lead to strife and conflict "whose limits could not be predetermined."

I cannot believe that the implications of this speech were really carefully considered in Moscow. It is a long way to supply and fight a war from Moscow to Cuba, so the Soviets must mean that they are prepared to do this with atomic weapons—and in all probability directly on the U.S. or any other country that might consider interfering if Russian activity in Cuba began to seem more permanent than was wise.

This might mean a world conflict, and it does not seem to me that either the U.S. or the Soviet Union really wants a world conflict over the power that either of them might exercise in the island of Cuba.

It would be well, I think, if both the U.S. and the Soviet Union would decide not to use any military power or encourage any other country to provide military power to Cuba. If the aims of the revolution in Cuba, as originally stated, are carried out by Mr. Castro for the good of the people as a whole, trade and economic aid might come from any other area of the world where it was possible to develop it.

What unfortunately seems to be developing is a type of unrest within the country, which is leading to more and more of a police state because economic aid is on a more and more restricted basis. The inflammatory speeches made by Castro have not contributed one bit toward better understanding or more willingness on the part of either the U.S. or the Soviet Union to solve their own difficulties in a more peaceful way.

The effort, it seems to me, should be to remove the military buildup in Cuba as quickly as possible and substitute for it such normal economic trade and credit as can be justified and can lead to better economic conditions for the people of Cuba.

Cuba should not start a world war, but interference in this hemisphere, such as Mr. Zorin's statement seems to foreshadow, might be extremely dangerous to the world situation.

It is a satisfaction to know that President Charles de Gaulle was successful in bringing the Algerian revolt of the generals to an end with so little bloodshed. Gen. Maurice Challe has been imprisoned in Paris, and the other three generals, while still in hiding, probably will be apprehended shortly.

France probably will feel it is essential to make an example of these four that will deter any others who might be contemplating an effort against de Gaulle.

It is now probable that de Gaulle will carry through his plan for compromise with Algerian leaders and it is hoped that some method of cooperation will be found. It has always seemed to me that Tunis, Morocco and Algeria could be a very good bridge between the Arab states and the West. Their natural outlook on international affairs would lead them to close ties with France, and they could furnish an understanding of the real difficulties in many of the Arab states and suggest possible ways of cooperation which might be helpful in other parts of the world.

E. R.

(Copyright, 1961, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 28, 1961

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.