We had first encountered [Robert] Williams's (pictured at right) name in my freshman year, early in the Kennedy administration, in a way that could not help but get our attention. It was during the U.N. debate on the Bay of Pigs debacle. * Engaged in a desperate exercise in diplomatic damage control, U.S. ambassador Adlai Stevenson (pictured at left) piously announced he deplored "the betrayal of the Cuban revolution," and he reserved his government's right and affirmed its will to send assistance-military when necessary-to any people struggling anywhere for human rights and democratic freedoms. So there!
At the end of which, the Cuban representative, Ambassador Raul Roa, rose to read a letter he'd just received. Apparently, he'd been asked by the representative of another people struggling against oppression to convey an appeal for just such American military assistance. To wit:
I'm told delegates and spectators in the gallery erupted. I know we at Howard howled. Reportedly Ambassador and the U.S. delegation was conspicuously not amused.