I'd like to invite Latinos, and the world, to help me recognize and help honor a group of ex-military Cubans and a Latino who served, in great secrecy, as a U.S. Ambassador, during our 2016 Latino Heritage Month.
Let me begin by inviting the world to help acknowledge a few Cuban soldiers that held the launch buttons on small yield tactical atomic armed missiles in the countryside during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. They could have easily press and launched them on their own, but fortunately cool and mindful heads prevailed.
Some of the first military assessment reports analyzing how close we can to worldwide nuclear holocaust during this tense incident in 1962 pointed out the added danger. Thousands of high yield atomic weapons on both sides (U.S. And Soviet) were targeting each other's cities, bases, ships (above and below the surface), and strategic bombers.
The vast majority of these were high yield nuclear weapons that could not be launched without presidential authorization and following a series of safety protocols.
HOWEVER, it was noted that a number of the Soviet missiles were hidden in remote jungle covered areas in Cuba and did not have any launch safety restrictions in place. Thus, some of these short range missiles could have simply been launched at the whim of those standing right next to them.
All it would have taken to begin all out world war was for one tiny group of nervous, over-anxious and ill-tempered Cuban soldiers to take matters into their own hands and decide to push several launch buttons and set it on its course toward Florida. They could have launched on their own, perhaps out of frustration given the fact that a year earlier the CIA supported a rebel group to land in Cuba to overthrow the government. The Bay of Pigs invasion was a disaster and added to the sense of insecurities between people of the nations.
Primary strategic analysis reports estimated that the U.S. might not have waited for a missile from Cuba to strike U.S. soil. That means that our missiles could have been launched immediately in retaliation with its full arsenal. Let's keep in mind that missiles travel fast and the distance between Cuba and Florida is less than 100-miles. Thus, a tiny lit match tossed into the sky by a few short minded and quick tempered individual could have set off a chain reaction of events that the world could not have recovered from.
The world owes a great deal of gratitude for those few unknown and brave Cuban soldiers (men and women) that held themselves with respect and honor and showed great restraint to not take matters into their own hands.
Who were they and how many short range missiles could have been launched without any administrative orders to launch we may never know, but they should always be held in our memories as heroes for not igniting WW III.
The other person is a Latino and he will be highlighted shortly. He should be recognized and honored for his service. His discovery of a major engineering design flaw in the nation's nuclear ballistic missile system helped prevent an unauthorized launch and the spread of nuclear arms will be announced shortly.