Throughout my meetings and conversations with Pierre Salinger, I never once asked a single question regarding the Kennedy Assassination. We analyzed the Cuban Missile Crisis in microscopic detail, the geopolitical and economic interlacing of Countries, technological advances and their global applications and implications as we envisioned a future beneficial to all populations.
Years later, I would befriend Alexander Malyshkin, the Information Minister to the former U.S.S.R. Embassy in Washington. We spoke of many of the same topics. We never spoke of Ideologies.
I would recall standing on the shore of the Halifax River in Daytona Beach, watching a continuous convoy of barges loaded with missiles, tanks and weapons and thinking, “I am 8 years old and I will never know what it is to be 9, my life is over, in a few days the world will be destroyed.”
Thanks to many decisions over the next few days, including an excellent implementation of back channel diplomacy by President Kennedy, complete and total annihilation was averted, including a decision of Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov, second in command of the nuclear-armed Soviet Foxtrot Submarine “B-59.” He convinced the Political Officer and the Captain not to fire without direct orders from Moscow.
Alexander Malyshkin and I spoke only of the day when humanity would overrule politics, fear, hate and distrust. The Christmas cards from him and the U.S.S.R. Embassy were some of the most beautiful I have ever received. Our relationship exemplifies hope. ….Neil Gerardo