Cuban Missile Crisis

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To what extent was the outbreak of the Cuban Missile Crisis due to Castro’s provocative actions?

The period of 1950 to 1979 saw the Cold War extending beyond its traditional borders in Europe and finally tore the world into a North-South polarization with each major powers supporting and sponsoring a faction in their chosen client states. This could be seen in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although Castro had genuine security reasons, his actions leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis were aggressive to a limited extent. This essay aims to examine the actions and motivations of Castro in leading to the outbreak of the Cuban Missile Crisis in order to determine the extent to which were provocative, taking examples from 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion to 1962 the outbreak of the crisis. Indeed, Castro’s aggressive actions to take care of their economic concerns did play a part in causing the outbreak of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Cuba’s main source of income was from the production of sugar. However, a vast majority of the sugar plantations were in the hands of the Americans. Due to the nature of the crop, Cubans are only employed for about 4 months a year. Nationalizations of US owned companies thus provided the regime with necessary resources to ‘return’ the country back to the people. Castro nationalized a billion dollars’ worth of American investments in Cuba and thus removed US’s dominance in Cuba. This thus shows that Castro’s revolutionary idealism was anti-American because of US economic dominance in its ex-colony. He was determined to oust USA’s ‘dollar diplomacy’. USA thus responded to Castro’s actions by placing an economic blockade and stopped buying Cuban sugar, the country’s principal export. However, the Soviet Union agreed to buy the sugar, resulting in a closer relationship between USSR and Cuba. This thus shows that Castro’s aggressive actions led to an increase in rivalry and stirred hostility between the superpowers, leading to the outbreak of Cuban...
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