The Cuban quarantine and the law of self-defense
Taylor, James D.
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This paper analyzes the Naval Quarantine of Cuba undertaken by the United States Government in the "missile crisis" of October-November | 1962, in order to determine the legality of the quarantine and to draw conclusions as to the permissibility, under international law, of the use or threat of force in self-defense. The official case made by the Government in support of the legality of the quarantine is found to be insufficient legally to justify the quarantine. However, analysis of traditional International law concerning the right of self-defense is found to justify it, and the law of the UN Charter is found not inconsistent with this right. It is concluded that the traditional right of selfdefense must remain unimpaired as long as it is possible for a nation to be confronted with a situation in which the resort to, or threat of, force is the only course offering a reasonable prospect of that nation's continued security.
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