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Draft of President Kennedy's Letter to Chairman Khrushchev, October 23, 1962

Dear Mr. Chairman:

I have received your letter of October twenty-third. I think you will recognize that the step which started the current chain of events was the action of your Government in secretly furnishing long-range missiles to Cuba. We will be [handwritten "are" inserted] discussing this matter in the Security Council. In the meantime, I am concerned that we both show prudence and do nothing to allow events to make the situation more difficult to control than it already is.

With this in mind I hope you will issue instructions to your ships bound for Cuba not to challenge the quarantine legally established by the Organization of American States this afternoon