Kennedy, who was trying to preserve the appearance that the situation in the White House was a matter, maintained his official schedule, but often met with consultants to develop strategies. When reconnaissance missions were re-approved on October 9, bad weather prevented the aircraft from flying. The United States first received U-2 evidence for missiles on October 14, when a U-2 flight piloted by Major Richard Heyser took 928 images on a route chosen by IAD analysts and took photos of an SS-4 shipyard in San CristĂ©bal, Pinar del Rio province (now in Artemisa province) , in western Cuba. [44] At 8:05 p.m. EDT, the letter, written earlier in the day, was distributed. The message read: “When I read your letter, the key elements of your proposals – which seem generally acceptable, as I understand them – are: 1) You would agree to withdraw from Cuba these weapons systems under the proper control and supervision of the United Nations; and pledge to put an end to the introduction of such weapons systems in Cuba through appropriate security measures. 2) For our part, we would agree to take appropriate steps through the United Nations to ensure that these commitments are respected and continued, (a) immediately lift the quarantine measures currently in force and (b) give assurances against the invasion of Cuba.” The letter was also published directly to the press to ensure that it could not be “delayed.” [112] With the letter sent, there was an agreement on the table. As Robert Kennedy said, there was little hope that it would be accepted. At 21:00 EDT, EXCOMM met again to check the actions for the following day. Plans for airstrikes have been developed at missile sites and other economic objectives, including oil storage. McNamara said they must have “two things to do: a government for Cuba, because we will need it; and secondly, plans to respond to the Soviet Union in Europe, because they will do something there.

[113] After a U.S. spy plane discovered the missile bases, President Kennedy announced the news and for a week the world hovered on the brink of nuclear war.

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