1982 – 1985
In one of the many bizarre, human moments of the Cold War, Samantha Smith, a ten-year-old American school girl, wrote the newly appointed General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, Yuri Andropov a letter. Andropov had recently succeeded Brezhnev, and as one of the architects of Prague Spring, his ascension was taken as a very inauspicious development for East-West relations. To everyone’s great surprise, Samantha received a personal reply, including an invitation to the Soviet Union. Despite concerns expressed by the US State Department, Samantha accepted and traveled to the Soviet Union. Her trip was heralded as important early thaw in relations and improved Andropov’s public perception in the West. Tragically, Samantha was killed in a plane crash in 1985.
Time: Late War
Removed after event: Yes
A surprisingly good headline for the USSR. Given the value of VPs at this stage, it essentially blocks the US from all but the most essential coups. This allows you to spread aggressively through the Mid War non-battlegrounds, safe in the knowledge that the US is unlikely to coup.
Of course, if you are not interested in the Mid War regions, then this card loses a lot of value, since that was where the US was going to coup anyway. But it is also very powerful if you combine it with improving DEFCON or use it to counter Nuclear Subs.
Play it on your last Action Round for no effect. You can also play it slightly earlier if you need to and it won’t be disastrous.