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The Cuban Missile Crisis

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Introduction

Cuban Missile Crisis Project The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation between the USA the USSR and Cuba, because Fidel Castro, the Cuban dictator, was allowing Soviet missiles into Cuba, hugely increasing their strategic potential against the USA. It was in the early 1960's and is arguably the closest the world has ever come to nuclear war. It was the major confrontation between the two countries in the Cold War, which dominated the middle of the 20th Century. In 1959, Communist Fidel Castro overthrew the American-backed dictator Batista. This brought an end to the long standing alliance between the USA and Cuba. As Cuba was now a communist state they immediately became allies with others around the globe, most notably the USSR. This expansion of Communism scared the USA as it went against what their Constitution stood for: freedom. Since 1960 the Soviet shad been supplying Castro with arms, and American intelligence knew about this. ...read more.

Middle

However, although missile sites were already in Cuba, the big question was whether they would send nuclear weapons. On the 14th October 1962, a spy plane spotted numerous missile launch sites on Cuba. These were immediately identified as nuclear and Russian. The shocking thing was that the coast of Florida was a mere 160km away from the nearest launch site at Gaunajay. Two days later President Kennedy was informed and immediately began to run through his options. He had a mere week to make a decision - the fate of the world was hanging in the balance. He had a number of options: The first was to do nothing as he still had vastly greater nuclear power than the USSR. The USA could still destroy the USSR so the Russians wouldn't use their missiles. Also to over-react would be the biggest danger to world peace. However the USSR lied about missiles and he had already issued them a warning- to do nothing would show another sign of weakness. ...read more.

Conclusion

This would involve a ban on the USSR bringing any more military supplies into Cuba and calling for the Soviets to withdraw what was already there. The good side of this is that it would show the USA were serious and put pressure on Khrushchev and also the USA had a strong navy and could fall back on other options if necessary. But the down side would be that it would not solve the main problem as the missiles were already on Cuba and the Soviets might retaliate by blockading Berlin. Finally 24th October at 8 o'clock, 20 ships approached the blockade line but turned around at the last second. Khrushchev had respected the blockade. Khrushchev agreed to remove missiles and Kennedy therefore removed blockade. Due to the decisions made by Khrushchev and Kennedy crisis was averted. Kennedy stood his ground and forced Khrushchev to accept his terms. Although it was a risky strategy it paid off and dramatically changed the course of history: a nuclear war, and probably the destruction of the world, was prevented. ?? ?? ?? ?? Tom Scrope 20 March 2009 St. Oswald's David Topham The Cuban Missile Crisis ...read more.

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