Vienna summit

“The Vienna summit was a summit meeting held on June 4, 1961, in Vienna, Austria, between President John F. Kennedy of the United States and Premier Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union. The leaders of the two superpowers of the Cold War era discussed numerous issues in the relationship between their countries. The summit took place only days after the assassination of President of the Dominican Republic Rafael Trujillo. Kennedy and Khrushchev first met at the Vienna Summit in June 1961. Prior to meeting face to face, their contact began when Khrushchev sent Kennedy a message on November 9, 1960, congratulating him on his presidential election victory and stating his hope that ‘relations between [the U.S. and USSR] would again follow the line along which they were developing in Franklin Roosevelt‘s time.’ He also told Kennedy that the USSR desired to negotiate with the U.S. on issues relating to ‘disarmament … a German peace treaty … and other questions which could bring about an easing and improvement of the entire international situation.’ In a reply message, Kennedy thanked Khrushchev and similar niceties continued until 1961. … Between 1945 and 1961, 2.7 million East Germans emigrated from East Berlin, a part of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), to West Berlin. GDR leader Walter Ulbricht argued that the large number of emigrants leaving East Berlin threatened the existence of the GDR by diminishing its population.[5] In the early months of 1961, Ulbricht pressured Khrushchev to close the border between East and West Berlin. … A lesser-known conflict fueled controversy at the Vienna Summit as well. ‘As in Berlin, [Kennedy] inherited in Laos a situation aggravated by near-direct armed confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States.’ During Eisenhower‘s presidency, the U.S. backed a right-wing conservative government (royal government) in Laos to counter that communist threat of the popular Pathet Lao. … The American-facilitated Bay of Pigs Invasion of April 1961 also rocked Khrushchev and Kennedy’s relationship. On April 18, 1961, Khrushchev sent Kennedy a telegram that said, ‘Mr. President, I send you this message in an hour of alarm, fraught with danger for the peace of the whole world. Armed aggression has begun against Cuba.’ Kennedy countered by saying that the Americans were merely helping support the ‘100,000 Cubans’ attempting to ‘[resist] the Castro dictatorship.’ He claimed that the Americans fought on the side of freedom and Cuban self-determination. …”
YouTube: Vienna Summit, President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev meet in Vienna, Austria in June 1961

Vienna summit

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Berlin Wall, Cuban Revolution, John Kennedy, Laos, R. McNamara and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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