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The Precipice of Nuclear Annihilation: Through the Eyes of the Cuban Missile Crisis – 50 Years Later

Fri, Oct 5, 2012, 6:00pm - 7:30pm

You are cordially invited to attend a special lecture on the topic of 

The Precipice of Nuclear Annihilation: Through the Eyes of the Cuban Missile Crisis
Fifty Years Later – The Value of Evidence over Speculation

Gene Poteat
President, Association of Former Intelligence Officers
Retired Senior CIA Scientific Intelligence Officer 

and remarks by
Tania Mastrapa
Research Professor in Cuban and Latin American Studies, IWP

Friday, October 5, 2012
6:00 PM

The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

Please RSVP to

With the emergence of unstable nuclear-armed nations and their despotic leaders, what lessons should we have learned from the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 when dealing with today’s crises? How was the U.S. blindsided by the Soviet missile build-up in Cuba …just a few miles south of Florida? How close did we come to a nuclear exchange and, during the showdown, who blinked first? What secret agreements were made that ended the crisis and how did they differ from face-saving press releases? What were the long-term consequences of the agreement that ended the Crisis?

CIA Scientific Officer Gene Poteat was on the scene in 1962. His first-hand account and revelations will answer these questions.

S. Eugene (Gene) Poteat is a retired senior CIA Scientific Intelligence Officer. He is President of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO). He was educated as an electrical engineer and physicist. He holds a Masters in Statecraft and National Security Affairs from IWP. His career in intelligence included work with U-2 and SR-71 class of aircraft and various space and naval reconnaissance systems. He also managed the CIA’s worldwide network of monitoring sites. He holds patents on covert communications techniques. His CIA assignments included the Directorate of Science and Technology, the National Reconnaissance Office, Technical Director of the Navy’s Special Programs Office and Executive Director of the Intelligence Research and Development Council. He served abroad in London, Scandinavia, the Middle East and Asia. He received the CIA’s Medal of Merit and the National Reconnaissance Office’s Meritorious Civilian Award for his technological innovations.

Tania C. Mastrapa is a specialist in Communist and post-Communist property reform in Europe and Latin America. She is the founder of Mastrapa Consultants (, a practice that focuses on the areas of privatization and confiscated property in Cuba. She also assists prospective foreign investors seeking to avoid trafficking in confiscated property on the island. Dr. Mastrapa and her co-author are under contract with Ashgate to publish their upcoming book The Evolution of Private Property in Cuba: Lessons from Albania, Estonia and Russia. She has also published works on art looting, property claims, compensation taxation, and transitional justice.  Dr. Mastrapa speaks frequently throughout Europe and North America about post Communist property restitution. Her academic and research interests include exile studies, immigration, and transitional justice.

Important note: Attendance at all IWP events requires an RSVP in advance.  In addition, prospective attendees must receive an e-mail confirmation from IWP indicating that seating will be available for them at the event.  A government-issued ID that matches your name on the confirmed attendee list must be presented at the door for admission to any event.