Senator Smith at Guantanamo Naval Air Station, Cuba, 1962
Senator Margaret Chase Smith, a Maine Republican, stands with Admiral E. John O'Donnell in front of Guantanamo Naval Air Station two months after the Cuban Missile Crisis. The United States and the Soviet Union narrowly avoided nuclear war after U-2 spy planes uncovered a Russian nuclear buildup in Cuba in October, 1962. Afterward Cuban dictator Fidel Castro repeatedly demanded that the United States abandon the Guantanamo Base. Senator Smith visited the Navy and Marine Corps personnel at Guantanamo in December 1962 and assured them that a U.S. presence would remain in Cuba to better protect the United States and other non-communist countries.