To What Extent Was the Cuban Missile Crisis the Product of American Paranoia?

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To what extent was the Cuban Missile Crisis the product of American paranoia?

Done By: Justine, Umi Amirah, Myraa (3DG/3DY)

The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation between the United States, the USSR, and Cuba in October 1962, during the Cold War. The Cuban and Soviet governments placed nuclear missiles in Cuba. When her military intelligence discovered the weapons, America sought to do all it could to ensure the removal of the missiles. This incident became closest to a nuclear war.1 The incident has caused a lot of commotion and raised tensions between the three countries.

The Cuban Missile Crisis was a product of a series of factors: American Paranoia, the Cuban want for freedom from America, and the USSR’s intentions.

America, strongly opposed to Communism, was paranoid about Cuba becoming Communist, for she saw it as a threat to her national security. As such, she tried ‘reclaiming’ Cuba with The Bay of Pigs invasion. However, it was an unsuccessful attempt. USSR was scornful of America’s pathetic attempt to oust Communism from Cuba. In the end, Communism still managed to spread. America actually took extreme measures – such as ironically drove Cuba into the arms of USSR – which resulted in the Cuban Missile Crisis. She felt that her actions were justified.2 After all, Cuba was under the control of the USA, meaning that America was responsible for ensuring that peace ensued in Cuba. Furthermore, what Cuba was doing was putting America’s national security at risk,3 so it was only natural to want to try to protect herself. From this, we can see that it was America’s paranoia that drove Cuba to ask for USSR’s assistance, which lead to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The USSR had many intentions for supplying Cuba with nuclear missiles. Previously, both the USSR and America were caught up in an arms race; the USSR saw this as an opportunity to get the upper hand against America. By doing so, America would see that the USSR was a fearsome opponent....
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