John F. Kennedy photo

Statement on African Affairs by Senator John F. Kennedy

September 06, 1960

As chairman of the Senate Subcommittee of African Affairs, I have been disturbed by recent evidence of Russian infiltration and subversion in the Congo. This concern was deepened by today's newspaper report that Russian planes on their way to the Congo had not only been flying over the airspace of our allies but are actually landing and refueling at a North Atlantic Treaty Organization airbase in Athens

These Russian flights have a single purpose: To further Russian aims in Africa, to bring the cold war to the Congo, and to undermine the freedom and newly won independence of the African people. We must not allow our NATO bases to become an unwitting instrument of such an effort, which is being carried on in defiance of the United Nations, of world opinion, and of the hopes of all of those who wish for peace. If further investigation shows that this report is accurate our Government owes the American people a full explanation of this situation and an explanation of what is being done to keep Russia from establishing a new satellite, this time in the heart of Africa.

John F. Kennedy, Statement on African Affairs by Senator John F. Kennedy Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives