JAMAICA's historical landscape is littered with dates which have shaped the terrain as well as the future of the country's diverse inhabitants. These events range from catastrophic to euphoric with no shortage of recollection whenever the various milestones are mentioned. From earthquakes, hurricanes and fires to Olympic glory and Independence, The Gleaner started chronicling Jamaica's roller-coaster history ride in 1834, and has had a front-row seat at every major event since. With 2012 marking Jamaica's 50th year of Independence from Great Britain, The Gleaner continues to share events which made the news, this day, in 1962.
Cuba blockade starts today
Denouncing the US arms quarantine against Cuba as a step toward world thermonuclear war, the Soviet Union today ordered its armed forces into a state of combat readiness. Forces of the Warsaw Pact - Communist counterpart of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - followed suit.
The orders for military preparedness came after the Soviet government issued a 'serious warning' over the action ordered by President Kennedy against Cuba last night.
The Soviet Defence Ministry halted discharges of servicemen of the senior age groups in the strategic rocket forces, anti-aircraft defence units and the submarine fleet. It ordered all military leaves cancelled.
Plane schedules disrupted
Flight schedules between Jamaica and New York, Miami and Nassau have been disrupted as a result of notice to airmen and airlines by the Cuban military authorities that all flights over Cuban territory and over Cuban territorial waters are prohibited.
This means that aircraft flying between these points will have to take longer routes. The trip by BOAC Viscounts will now take one hour and 35 minutes longer than normal, and jet flights between the two points will be an hour longer. The Cuban military authorities have also notified airmen and airlines that all flights into Cuban airports must be cancelled.
Sir Alex with US
The prime minister, Sir Alexander Bustamante, told a big meeting in Spanish Town last night that he was on the side of the United States in the present Cuban trouble. In a brief statement to the meeting, Sir Alexander said:
"I have one announcement. You have heard that trouble is brewing in Cuba. I am not with Russia. I am with the West and the United States."
There was prolonged applause when Sir Alexander sat down.
Jamaica studies position today
The Jamaica Cabinet will hold a special meeting this morning to consider the Cuba situation and its implications for Jamaica. Since President Kennedy's announcement of an American blockade of the neighbouring republic, 90 miles north of Jamaica, the Government has been in constant touch with the embassy in Washington and the Mission at the UN, gathering reports for study.
Yesterday, also, a senior minister of Government, held discussions with all the departments of Government, which would be concerned with any developments in Cuba and around Cuba, which might possibly affect Jamaica and the Jamaican people, as a direct result of the Cuban blockade and, as might arise in the advent of an outbreak of hostilities.