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        #211: Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis

        作者:Jerilyn Watson 發布日期:9-10-2013

        Army officials meet with President John F. Kennedy in the White House in Washington in 1962 to discuss U-2 spy plane flights over Cuba
        Army officials meet with President John F. Kennedy in the White House in Washington in 1962 to discuss U-2 spy plane flights over Cuba

        STEVE EMBER: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION - American history in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember

        (MUSIC)

        This week in our series, we continue the story of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

        Kennedy, a Democrat, defeated Republican Vice President Richard Nixon in one of the closest elections in United States history. He took office in January nineteen sixty-one.

        After three months, Kennedy faced a major foreign policy failure.

        On April seventeenth, armed Cuban exiles tried to invade Cuba, less one hundred fifty kilometers from the American state of Florida. They had been trained by the Central Intelligence Agency. Their goal was to overthrow the island's communist leader, Fidel Castro. In nineteen fifty-nine he and his guerrilla forces had overthrown Fulgencio Batista, the president who was supported by the United States.

        The exiles came ashore at Cuba's Bay of Pigs. Most were killed or captured.

        The last administration, under President Dwight Eisenhower, had planned the invasion. But Kennedy had approved it. After the failure, some Americans again wondered if the forty-three-year-old president had enough experience to lead the nation.

        (MUSIC)

        In May nineteen sixty-one, Kennedy went to Paris and met with French President Charles de Gaulle. Kennedy visited France with his wife Jacqueline, who spoke French and had studied there.

        In June, Kennedy met in Vienna, Austria, with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Khrushchev did not want to compromise on any issue. He threatened to have the East Germans block all movement into and out of the Allied-controlled western half of Berlin.

        In November, the East Germans, with Soviet support, started building the Berlin Wall to separate east and west. President Kennedy quickly announced a large increase in American military forces in Germany.

        (MUSIC)

        Less than a year later came the Cuban missile crisis. On October twenty-second, nineteen sixty-two, President Kennedy made an announcement to the American people.

        U.S. President John F. Kennedy reports to the nation on the Cuban missile crisis from the White House in Washington
        U.S. President John F. Kennedy reports to the nation on the Cuban missile crisis from the White House in Washington

        JOHN KENNEDY: "This government, as promised, has maintained the closest surveillance of the Soviet military buildup on the island of Cuba. Within the past week, unmistakable evidence has established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites is now in preparation on that imprisoned island. The purpose of these bases can be none other than to provide a nuclear strike capability against the Western Hemisphere.

        "Upon receiving the first preliminary hard information of this nature last Tuesday morning at nine a.m., I directed that our surveillance be stepped up. And having now confirmed and completed our evaluation of the evidence and our decision on a course of action, this government feels obliged to report this new crisis to you in fullest detail.

        "The characteristics of these new missile sites indicate two distinct types of installations. Several of them include medium range ballistic missiles, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead for a distance of more than one thousand nautical miles. Each of these missiles, in short, is capable of striking Washington, DC, the Panama Canal, Cape Canaveral, Mexico City, or any other city in the southeastern part of the United States, in Central America, or in the Caribbean area."

        Kennedy had a warning for the Soviets.

        JOHN KENNEDY: "It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union."

        Kennedy and his national security advisers debated what to do about the Soviet missiles in Cuba. Should the United States launch an air strike and try to destroy them? What if some of the nuclear missiles escaped the attack?

        Kennedy decided to use a naval blockade -- he called it a "quarantine" -- to prevent any more Soviet ships from reaching Cuba.

        This photograph, made Oct. 23, 1962, shows a ballistic missile site project in the San Cristobal area of Cuba. The photo was released by the Defense Department.
        This photograph, made Oct. 23, 1962, shows a ballistic missile site project in the San Cristobal area of Cuba. The photo was released by the Defense Department.

        There were tense negotiations with the Soviets. Khrushchev demanded a promise that the United States would not invade Cuba. Kennedy agreed, and did so publicly. Secretly he also agreed to another demand. He promised that the United States would remove its Jupiter missiles based in Turkey, after the crisis was over.

        The Cuban missile crisis lasted thirteen days. It raised fears of a nuclear war. But it ended peacefully when the Soviets agreed to remove their missiles from Cuba, and turned their ships around.

        (MUSIC)

        But the Cold War continued.

        In Asia, the Kennedy administration tried to fight communism in Vietnam by increasing the number of American military advisers there.

        The United States and the Soviet Union did make some progress on arms control. In nineteen sixty-three, the two countries agreed to ban tests of nuclear weapons except underground.

        (MUSIC)

        Kennedy also had to deal with domestic issues, including discrimination against blacks. His brother Robert was attorney general, the nation's top law enforcement official. The Justice Department took legal action against states in the South that violated laws on voting rights.

        The administration also supported a voter registration campaign to sign up more black voters.

        Robert Kennedy repeatedly called on National Guard troops to protect blacks when they tried to register to vote or attend white schools.

        President Kennedy said the situation was causing a moral crisis in America. He decided it was time to propose a new civil rights law that would guarantee equal treatment for blacks in public places and jobs.

        Congress did not pass a wide-reaching civil rights bill until nineteen sixty-four. By then Kennedy was no longer president.

        In November nineteen sixty-three, he traveled to Texas. He hoped to settle a dispute in the Democratic Party in that state. The dispute might have affected his chances for re-election in nineteen sixty-four.

        President John F. Kennedy rides in a motorcade with his wife Jacqueline moments before he was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas November 22, 1963
        President John F. Kennedy rides in a motorcade with his wife Jacqueline moments before he was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas November 22, 1963

        Kennedy arrived in Dallas in the late morning of November twenty-second. The president and his wife were seated in the back of an open-topped car as his motorcade drove through the city. Suddenly, there were gunshots.

        WALTER CRONKITE: "Here is a bulletin from CBS news. In Dallas, Texas, three shots were fired at President Kennedy's motorcade in downtown Dallas. The first reports say that President Kennedy has been seriously wounded by this shooting."

        The motorcade raced to Parkland Memorial Hospital. But doctors could do little to save his life. This was how television newsman Walter Cronkite reported the news:

        WALTER CRONKITE: "From Dallas, Texas -- the flash apparently official -- President Kennedy died at one p.m., Central Standard Time."

        Police quickly arrested a suspect. Lee Harvey Oswald worked in a building near where Kennedy had been shot. People had seen him leave the building with a gun.

        Lee Harvey Oswald was a man with a strange past. He was a former United States Marine. He was also a communist. He had lived for a while in the Soviet Union and had tried to become a Soviet citizen. He worked for a committee that supported the communist government in Cuba.

        Lee Harvey Oswald, suspected assassin of President John F. Kennedy, at police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963
        Lee Harvey Oswald, suspected assassin of President John F. Kennedy, at police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963

        Police questioned Oswald about the shooting of President Kennedy. He told them he did not do it. After two days, officials decided to move him to a different jail.

        Oswald was being led by two police officers. Suddenly, a man stepped forward. There was a shot. Oswald fell to the ground. Television cameras broadcast the events live.

        The man who killed Oswald was Jack Ruby. He was a nightclub owner in Dallas. He said he shot Oswald to prevent the Kennedy family from having to live through a trial.

        (MUSIC)

        A commission investigated the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The chief justice of the United States, Earl Warren, led the investigation. In its report, the Warren commission said that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone. It said there was no plot to kill the president.

        Many Americans never accepted that finding. Some blamed Fidel Castro or the Central Intelligence Agency. Others blamed organized crime.

        The eternal flame honoring President John F. Kennedy
        The eternal flame honoring President John F. Kennedy

        President Kennedy was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington. An Eternal Flame burns night and day by his grave.

        (MUSIC)

        You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts, and pictures at www.squishedblueberries.com. And you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember, inviting you to join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

        ___

        This was program #211.

        肯尼迪是民主黨人,他在總統大選中擊敗了當時任副總統的尼克松,兩人之間的這場較量成為美國歷史上最激烈的總統大選之一。1961年1月19號,肯尼迪入主白宮。

        上任三個月后,肯尼迪在外交政策上遭遇重大失敗。1961年4月17號,一支由流亡海外的古巴人組成的武裝力量進入距離美國佛羅里達州不到150英里的古巴。這些人接受了美國中央情報局的訓練,他們行動的目標是推翻古巴的共產黨領袖卡斯特羅。1959年,卡斯特羅和他領導的游擊隊武裝推翻了當時受美國支持的古巴統治者巴蒂斯塔。

        流亡古巴人組成的武裝力量在古巴豬灣登陸,大部分人被殺或被捕。這次行動是肯尼迪的前任--艾森豪威爾政府的官員策劃的,但得到了肯尼迪的批準。行動失敗后,一些美國人開始懷疑43歲的肯尼迪是否具備領導美國所需的足夠豐富的執政經驗。

        1961年5月,肯尼迪前往巴黎會見法國總統戴高樂。陪他一同前往的是他的夫人杰奎林,她會說法語,曾在法國上學。6月,肯尼迪在奧地利的維也納會見了蘇共總書記赫魯曉夫。赫魯曉夫并不想就任何議題進行妥協,他還威脅說,要讓東德封鎖一切進出西柏林的活動。當時的西柏林處于盟國的控制之下。

        11月,東德在蘇聯的支持下開始修建柏林墻,試圖把東西兩德劃界分開??夏岬峡偨y馬上宣布,大幅度增加駐德國的美軍數量。 此后不到一年,發生了古巴導彈危機。

        1962年10月22號,肯尼迪總統對美國人民宣布了一項消息。他說:"美國政府遵照承諾,一直對蘇聯在古巴的軍事集結保持密切監測。在過去一周里,不容質疑的證據顯示,在封閉的古巴出現了一系列進攻型導彈基地的準備活動,這些導彈基地的目的只能有一個,就是建立對西半球國家發動核打擊的能力。"

        肯尼迪還說:"上周二早上九點,我收到了關于這一事件的最初的確切消息,并馬上下令加強監測?,F在,我們已經證實了相關證據,并對這些證據和我們的行動步驟進行了評估,我們相信,政府必須把這一最新危機的全部細節告訴大家。"

        肯尼迪說:"這些新建的導彈基地有兩種類型,一些是中程彈道導彈,可以把核彈頭投射到一千海里遠的地方。也就是說,這些彈頭可以打到華盛頓、巴拿馬運河、卡納維拉爾角、墨西哥城以及所有處于美東南部、中美洲或者加勒比地區的地方。"

        肯尼迪也對蘇聯提出了警告。他說:"美國的政策是,一切從古巴發射出來的以西半球國家為打擊目標的核導彈都將被視為是蘇聯對美國發動的攻擊,必將引發美國對蘇聯的全面的報復行動。"

        肯尼迪任美國總統期間,爆發了古巴導彈危機。蘇聯在古巴修建導彈發射基地,威脅到西半球國家的安全??夏岬虾退膰野踩聞疹檰柧腿绾螒獙@場危機進行了辯論。美國是不是應該發動空襲,摧毀這些導彈基地呢?如果不能把核導彈全部擊毀,而是漏掉一些,怎么辦?

        肯尼迪決定部署海面封鎖,以阻止更多蘇聯軍艦到達古巴。與此同時,美國和蘇聯展開緊張的談判。赫魯曉夫要求美國承諾不入侵古巴??夏岬贤饬?,而且是公開表示同意。他私下里還同意了蘇聯的另外一個要求,他承諾,在這場危機結束后,美國將撤走部署在土耳其的木星導彈。

        古巴導彈危機持續了13天,讓人們擔心核戰爭即將爆發。不過,這場危機最終還是和平地化解了,蘇聯同意撤走部署在古巴的導彈,其軍艦也駛回了蘇聯。不過,冷戰并沒有就此結束。在亞洲,肯尼迪政府試圖通過增加美軍在越南的軍事顧問來打擊越共。

        美國和蘇聯在武器控制方面取得了一些進展,1963年,兩國達成協議,禁止除地下核武試驗以外的一切核試驗。除外交事務外,肯尼迪還要解決國內的問題,包括對黑人的歧視問題??夏岬系牡艿芰_伯特是當時的美國司法部長。司法部對美國南部違反選舉權法的州采取了法律行動。

        肯尼迪政府還支持進行選民注冊宣傳活動,讓更多的黑人選民參選。 羅伯特.肯尼迪多次派遣國民警衛隊去保護那些試圖注冊參選和去白人學校上學的黑人。

        肯尼迪總統說,種族歧視問題正在為美國帶來一場道德危機。他堅信,美國應該建立一部新的民權法,確保黑人在公共場所和就業市場得到公正的對待。

        美國國會直到1964年才通過了一部內容廣泛、影響深遠的民權法案,那時,肯尼迪已經不是總統了。1963年11月19日,肯尼迪前往德州,希望能解決德州民主黨內出現的一場糾紛。這場糾紛有可能會影響到他在1964年總統大選中獲得連任。11月22日上午,肯尼迪到達達拉斯機場。隨后, 總統車隊穿行達拉斯,肯尼迪和夫人杰奎林坐在一輛敞篷車的后排座上。突然,傳來了幾聲槍響。

        電視節目主持人沃爾特.克朗凱特在新聞中說:"這里是CBS新聞簡報。在德州達拉斯市,有人在市中心向肯尼迪總統的車隊開了三槍。最初的報導說,肯尼迪被擊中,傷勢嚴重。"

        車隊飛奔到柏齡紀念醫院,但是,醫生們已經回天乏術。沃爾特.克朗凱特報導說:"這是來自德州達拉斯的消息,已經證實,肯尼迪總統在中部時間下午一點鐘逝世。"

        警方很快逮捕了兇手,這個人叫李.哈維.奧斯瓦爾德,他在肯尼迪遇刺地附近的一幢大樓里上班,人們看到奧斯瓦爾德帶著一把槍離開了大樓。奧斯瓦爾德過去的經歷十分奇怪,他曾是美國海軍陸戰隊成員,也是個共產主義者,他在蘇聯生活過一段時間,并試圖獲得蘇聯國籍。他還曾為一個支持古巴共產黨政府的委員會工作。

        警方就肯尼迪遇刺對奧斯瓦爾德進行審問,奧斯瓦爾德說,不是他干的。兩天后,有關官員決定把他轉到另外一座監獄。奧斯瓦爾德在兩名警察的帶領下走出來,忽然,一名男子上前一步,一聲槍響后,奧斯瓦爾德倒在地上。這一切都被電視鏡頭捕捉到,并即時播送了出去。

        殺死他的男人是杰克.魯比, 他是達拉斯一家夜店的店主。他說,殺死奧斯瓦爾德是為了不讓他有機會受審,因為那會給肯尼迪的家人帶來更多的痛苦。美國政府成立了專門委員會,調查肯尼迪遇刺案。

        美國最高法院首席法官厄爾.沃倫主持調查工作。委員會在調查報告中表示,奧斯瓦爾德沒有同黨,是單獨行動的,并說,沒有刺殺總統的陰謀。

        許多美國人一直不相信這個說法。一些人認為是卡斯特羅或中央情報局策劃刺殺了肯尼迪,還有一些人覺得是犯罪集團刺殺了總統??夏岬系倪z體被埋葬在阿靈頓國家公墓,和首都華盛頓就隔著一條波多馬克河。在他的幕前點著一盞日夜發光的長明燈。

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