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home / archives / 1963 /  8th October

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I'm glad you missed, but...

At this time, then Prime Minister of Cuba, Fidel Castro (1959 - 1976) was taking the Russian Ambassador to Cuba, Alexander Alexeev, on a sight-seeing flight on the outskirts of Havana. British diplomats reported that 2 Cuban anti-aircraft batteries of 10 guns each tried to shoot down the plane. The aircraft survived and as the news of the incident became clearer it was eventually reported that the pilot had prevented disaster for the aircraft and passengers only through some very skillful and courageous flying, reportedly evading the initial fire and dropping the aircraft to a few feet above the sea in order to remain under the line of fire and fly his aircraft to safety.

There were rumors of subsequent arrests concerning the anti-aircraft batteries, however the incident is still widely regarded as a mistake rather than an assassination attempt. To say people were a bit "jumpy" at this time would be an understatement.

Note: this cartoon was done for the Hobart Mercury, before Geoff started including the hook. If you look carefully you'll be able to see a rhubarb tin and a picture of Jeff and baby sons numbers 1 and 2.