New York City took on the appearance of an army headquarters today. The city's entire?
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Background: New York City took on the appearance of an army headquarters today. The city's entire police force, 24 thousand men - or a whole army division - was readying itself for the Kruschev arrival here on Monday.
A walkie-talkie for quick communication... separate task forces ready to go on a moment's notice...these were part of the feverish military atmosphere.
Police officials tell us privately, though, that Kruschev's presence is only part of the headache - Fidel Castro's attendance at the same UN session is even bigger.
At Pier 73 on the East River today, September 17, Russian security chief General Nicolai Zukarov and his party viewing the dilapidated pier where Khruschev's boat docks on Monday...broken windows, rotted piers, oil-scummed waters the highlights of the bedraggled area, chosen only because it's fairly close to the UN building...Soviet officials going over the steps, too, which Kruschev himself will walk...conversations with city police and state department officials amidst scenes of neglect and decay...but promises from the city that more effort will be put into cleaning up the pier. Later, General Zukarov was cornered for a moment after he inspected the area and was interviewed.
Guarded, conservative words from the Russian security boss: our guess that he must wait for the official party line before either deploring or screaming at the obvious run-down conditions.
The second major headache for New York next week - Fidel Castro. Police and both State Department and UN security people believe that the bearded Cuban leader probably will be the greatest protection problem...protecting him against any anti-Castro Cubans here and protecting innocent bystanders against injury if a fracas should develop.
For a while yesterday and today, September 17, it seemed as though Castro and his entourage might have to sleep in the park. They tried to get reservations at the Shelbourne Hotel on East 37th Street. But the owner, Edward Spatz, said he didn't want them.
Then, after receiving calls from both the State Department and the UN requesting that he put them up...Spatz decided to allow Castro and Company to bring their heards and baggage to his establishment.
Spatz said calls of protest against him allowing the Cubans to stay at his hotel have been coming in all day. A hotel owner with a headache he doesn't want. Meanwhile, anti-Castro Cubans paraded opposite the Russian UN headquarters at 68th Street and Park Avenue...members of Cuban Action shouting "Down with Kruschev! Down with Castro!"
A hot verbal reception is in the offing for both Mr. K and Mr. C.