The Cuban Missile Crisis.
This was the most serious crisis between the USA and USSR in the history of the Cold War. Cuba was a communist country only 90 miles off the coast of USA. In October 1962 US spy planes identified nuclear missile sites being built in Cuba. Background:
Cuba traditionally had a passive relationship with the USA. Batista who was president/dictator at the time was viewed as safeguard against communism by the USA, but when revolutionary Fidel Castro overthrew him in 1959 they became suspicious. Castro introduced socialist reforms and started trade negotiations with the Soviet Union. ‘At the height of the Cold War, the existence of a communist country so close to the United States was viewed with great alarm. They secretly started to plan to invade Cuba and overthrow Castro.’ --> Bay of Pigs:
In April 1961, with backing from the CIA, an armed force of Cuban exiles, with supplies from Kennedy, invaded Cuba. This was a huge failure as Castro’s forces easily defeated the invaders, killing them or taking them as prisoners. This affair was deeply embarrassing for the US as their involvement in the incident had been publicly exposed, and also because it was so badly planned and executed. ‘After this Castro officially declared he communist and turned increasingly towards the USSR for economic and diplomatic support.’ --> What happened after this?
To avoid another US-backed invasion of Cuba and to co-operate with Krushev (USSR president), Castro agreed to the construction of Soviet missiles in Cuba. The Americans watched this happen with great alarm and when the U2 spy plane flew over Cuba in 1962 showing that nuclear missiles were being built shit went down. What Kennedy Did.
* Broadcast the American people, informing them of the potential threat and what he intended to do about it. * The Americans blocked Cuba and stopped any ship suspected of carrying any arms. * The Soviets and Castro complained to the UN, saying the US was threatening world peace. * Kennedy threatened to invade Cuba and remove the missiles by force. * The next 10 days were extremely tense as the world was only the brink of nuclear war. ‘It was Krushev who broke the standoff and agreed to remove the missiles as long as the US agreed never to invade Cuba again. The Cuban Missile Crisis then ended and Kennedy became an instant hero to the West for his apparent ‘tough’ approach’ The Outcome.
1) Kennedy became a ‘hero’ and gained a great reputation in the USA for standing up to the Soviet Union. Khrushev also became known in Soviet circles for being the peacemaker as he was willing to make the first compromise. 2) The relationship between the USA and USSR improved and a permanent ‘hotline’ directly liked from the White house to the Kremlin was set up to avoid this ever happening again. A year later they both signed the Nuclear Test Ban which limited tests on nuclear weapons. 3) Cuba stayed Communist and highly armed. However the missiles were removed. Stuff to think about.
--> Why did the Soviets place nuclear missiles in Cuba?
* They genuinely wanted to defend Cuba.
* Khrushev was concerned about the missile gap between the USSR and USA and seized any opportunity to get missiles in closer range of the USA. * Khrushev wanted to test how strong the Americans really were. (Back off or Face up) * Khrushev wanted to use the missiles as a bargaining centre. Agree to remove them in return for some American concessions. --> Did the ‘Bay of Pigs’ incident contribute to /spark the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis? Key Terms.
Cold War – Started in 1945, after WW2, the Cold War was an ideological battle between capitalist democratic USA (West) and the communist authoritarian USSR (East). There were never any direct battles between each other’s soil; arms race, space race. Both these countries influenced other countries. Containment – This was the policy that was outlined...