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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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slower than we ought to have been to recognize this. Although I admit that this is an arguable point, I would defend our slowness, because I would really rather be sure of my facts on this than to immediately assume, as an awful lot of people did. And the people who yell loudest about us assume that because a revolution has taken place in a country such as Cuba, and a revolution, by the way, that was very badly needed, and because of some pretty rough things that will happen in any revolution, the country's automatically Communist. Now, we did not say this, and I'm proud of the fact that we did not say this. I think this was the right position, but maybe we were slower to see and to recognize what did become evidently a real Communist infiltration than in hindsight we ought to have been. I am willing to admit only that, but I am not willing to admit in any sense that our position was a completely invalid one or unjustified one, and I am very proud of the fact, I repeat, and will stand by our editorial position on this, which, incidentally, started before I became responsible for the page.

I became responsible for the page in April of '61, and this position that we have been criticized for was being taken before that. I am very proud of the fact that the Times did not join the pack in labeling either the Cuban or any other revolutionary movement of this sort automatically a Communist revolution merely because it did involve very major social changes, social changes that were badly needed in Cuba, although of course I recognize, as everyone else does now, that this thing has gone too far, has become much too closely enmeshed with the Communists and Communist control, and the culmination of course was in the missile crisis.

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