A New Cuba Showdown – March 25, 1976

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger -  threats weren't even thinly veiled.

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger – threats weren’t even thinly veiled.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS Radio – The World Tonight – March 25, 1976 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

And on this day in 1976, warnings from Secretary of State Henry Kissinger over Cuban military interventions abroad brought a not-so-thinly-veiled threat of U.S. military involvement and the very real possibility of air-strikes over Cuba. All of this over Cuba’s involvement in the situation in Angola, which the White House saw as Communist influence in Africa.

The saber rattling perplexed many and angered some, most notably Capitol Hill where Senators were up in arms over President Ford‘s flagrant disregard for the War Powers Act. But since the U.S. had very little recourse; economic or political clout was practically nonexistent. So the only option left open was a military one. And many thought this was merely a ploy used by Ford to achieve a better perception by voters, since this was an election year and the majority opinion felt President Ford wasn’t strong on Foreign Policy – and that his nearest contender, Ronald Reagan was busily beating war drums.

In other news – The World Health Organization said there weren’t any indications the Swine Flu virus was spreading and they were a bit surprised that President Ford was urging a nationwide vaccination of everyone before November. Surprise or not, the White House was going ahead with plans for mass vaccinations against Swine Flu. Opinion was, if the rest of the world was caught in the grips of a Swine Flu epidemic and the U.S. wasn’t, it would be a medical marvel. If there was no flu epidemic anywhere in the world, it would all go down as a huge medical boondoggle costing taxpayers $135 million.

The United Nations Security Council took up the question of Israeli treatment of Arabs in occupied territories. The U.S. acted alone against the other 14 members of the Security Council, vetoing a resolution criticizing Israel’s policy in the region. Saying the resolution did not correspond to the facts in asserting that Israel was changing the religious character of Jerusalem and added the U.S. felt the resolution did not help to make peace. The resolution called on Israel to refrain from all measures against the Arab inhabitants and to stop establishing settlements in the occupied territories.

The war continued in Lebanon with indiscriminate shelling in Beirut between Christian and Muslim Militias. The latest in the year-long street battles forced the President of Lebanon to leave his palace, even though he was still President, and the battles continued.

All that, and much more for this March 25th in 1976 as presented by The World Tonight from CBS Radio.

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