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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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Now, as far as the specific editorial position of the Times, there isn't a single word that we have ever published editorially on Cuba, at least during my regime, which I would retract, and I'm proud of what I think is a moderate and sensible position on Cuba. We did not favor the Bay of Pigs operation. That happened immediately after I came in, and this was my first crisis as editor in charge of the editorial page, and I worked with Matthews very closely on our editorial position in this matter. We did not think that the official American position, whether under the Kennedy Administration or the present administration, is helpful towards solving the Cuban problem, in the sense that we don't think that a tighter economic boycott is going to do anything more than simply drive Castro further into Communist hands. I don't want to see Cuba Communist any more than anyone else does, but I think that the method of solving the Communist problem is not to put the economic heat on in the way that we're doing, but rather to do the opposite; to try and make every effort to make them less dependent on the Communists.


As with Tito.


Yes, yes, as with Tito, except, of course, because Cuba is ninety miles away, it's a much more emotional issue.

But to get back to the Matthews issue, of course it's outrageous that Matthews has been attacked for being a Communist or a Communist tool. The only thing which he and the Times can be validly criticized for - and I would recognize that this is a matter of opinion - is whether or not we were too slow and too reluctant to recognize the Communist control. I defend our view on this, but I think this is arguable; but I think, too, that it is the only

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