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Monday, December 25, 2006

December 25, 1960: Soviet Intentions on the Eve of a New Administration

A news analysis in today's New York Times takes up the topic of Communist tactics: "As President-elect Kennedy and his foreign policy team survey the world scene preparatory to taking over responsibility less than four weeks from today, they find the United States subject to Soviet pressures of the most diverse kind in every continent. ... At one extreme, some of Moscow's current activities could conceivably provoke World War III in the near future if continued unchecked. At the other extreme, Moscow is holding out the hand of alleged friendship to the new Kennedy regime, hinting it wants to make a deal which could greatly reduce world tensions. ...

"In Laos the continued Soviet airdrops of weapons and supplies to the rebel forces of Capt. Kong Le raise the most serious possibilities that a new Korea-type war may be in the making. Moreover, recent statements from Communist China and North Vietnam have raised the possibilities that these countries may intervene actively with troops to help the rebels recapture Vientiane and defeat Gen. Phoumi Nosavan's forces.

"In the Congo, the Soviet press has approved the action of the Lumumba lieutenant, Antoine Gizenga, in declaring that he now heads the Congo's legal government and has moved the capital to Stanleyville. This has raised the possibility that the Soviet Union might recognize the Stanleyville group, enter into diplomatic relations with it, and give it military and other aid. ...

"On the explosive subject of West Berlin, Soviet pressure continues through the East Germans, who have threatened to cut off that isolated Western enclave if the new trade treaty with West Germany is not quickly concluded.

"In Latin America, the Soviet Union pledged itself last week not only to sponsor the industrialism of Cuba, but also to guarantee Cuba against major losses if the United States prohibition on the importing of Cuban sugar should continue all next year."