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Sunday, September 17, 2006

September 17, 1960: Castro Gets NYC Hotel Rooms, Eisenhower urges 'Dignity', UN in Emergency Congo Session

Fidel Castro has found hotel accommodations at the Shelburne Hotel in midtown Manhattanin. The the Elysee Hotel cancelled his earlier reservation and the revolutionary had been finding it difficult to book rooms. The delegation is not be allowed to travel outside New York City during its stay. United States and United Nations officials facilitated the Shelburne booking in an effort to avoid embarrassment. But in another development it was learned today that Castro's Cubana Airlines plane could be seized when it lands at New York's Idlewild International Airport because of a legal claim against the government. In Manhattan mass demonstrations were planned to protest Castro's visit. President Eisenhower urged Americans to show "traditional dignity" to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and other foreign heads of state arriving in the U.S. to attend the United Nations General Assembly. "The united States government and state and local authorities are faced with an extremely difficult security problem in view of the forthcoming attendance at the United Nations General Assembly of nearly a score of chiefs of state or heads of government, several of whom have been bitterly antagonistic to the United States," Eisenhower said in a statement released on this day in 1960. The UN General Assembly convened an emergency special session tonight, though the heads of state coming to the U.S. for the meeting had not yet arrived. The emergency meeting of the General Assembly was called because the Security Council became deadlocked over what action to take in the Congo after a Soviet Union veto. This was the UN's fourth Special Assembly in the 15 years since its founding. All occurred after Security Council vetoes caused stalemates. Previous deadlocks were over the Suez crisis and the Soviet invasion of Hungary, both in 1956, and over a dispute between Lebanon and the United Arab Republic in 1958.

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