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Were Contemporaries correct in regarding President Kennedy as the saviour of the Western World After The Cuban Missile Crisis?

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Introduction

Were Contemporaries correct in regarding President Kennedy as the saviour of the Western World After The Cuban Missile Crisis? On October 22 1962, President Kennedy informed the world, that the Soviet Union was building missile bases in Cuba. Superpower brinkmanship came close to exploding into nuclear war because of these missiles. When Khrushchev finally backed down ,the crisis appeared to have ended victoriously for Kennedy and America. American propaganda took the opportunity to praise America's triumphant way of dealing with the crisis and Kennedy's role of saving the Western World from devastation. However recent research is critical of Kennedy's claim to be the Savior of the Western World, because he was not alone in resolving the situation, and Kennedy's negative attitude towards Cuba contributed in beginning, endorsing and escalating the crisis. American Media presented Kennedy's role in the Crisis as that of the Savior of the Western world. American propaganda said that his resolutness to soviet hostility had caused Khrushchev to remove soviet missiles from Cuba. A cartoon, drawn at the height of the cold war, presented the idea of the Crisis as an old fashioned Western shoot out. The cartoon enhanced Kennedy's reputation by presenting him as the good guy ,standing up to evil but also undermined Khrushchev's reputation. ...read more.

Middle

Kennedy took many steps to ensure that something like the crisis would never occur again. Kennedy set up a direct telephone line between Moscow and Washington in order to give the superpowers instant communication to one another and pursue d�tente. A Nuclear Test Ban treaty was signed in 1963. People thought that Kennedy really did care about the preserving of world peace because in Kennedy's speeches he expressed his desire and concern to 'Assure the survival and success of liberty'. Because of Kennedy's desperate steps to preserve world peace, in the eyes of America he was the savior of the Western world. However Historians are now critical of Kennedy's unrealistic attitude towards Cuba and hold him responsible for pushing Cuba closer to the Soviet Union. Kennedy failed to see that Castro was extremely popular with the Cuban people. Akexeyev quoted that 'At least ninety per cent of the people were for Fidel Castro' and that the Cuban people 'Idolized him. Every home had graffiti saying Fidel, this is your home'. Another criticism is Kennedy's support for an attempted invasion of Cuba at 'The Bay Of Pigs' in April 1961. By backing the Cuban rebels, Kennedy had caused Castro to move closer to the Soviets. ...read more.

Conclusion

The crisis ended when Kennedy unofficially agreed to remove the missiles in Turkey thus preventing an escalation into nuclear war. People thought that Kennedy lied throughout the crisis and held crucial information back from the people for his own good because Kennedy chose to hide the fact that the deal had been made for twenty - five years. Kennedy's way of dealing with the Cuban missile Crisis destabilized world peace by damaging the Americans affiliation with Cuba and France. America's relationship with Cuba was worse than ever. By expelling Cuba from the Organization of American states, Cuba became more reliant on the Soviet Union. The European Allies of the USA felt stunned at how little they were consulted throughout the catastrophe and felt insignificant. I feel that contemporaries were wrong to regard President Kennedy as the savoir of the Western world because although Kennedy successfully stopped the Crisis from escalating into nuclear war, if it were not for his actions towards Cuba in the beginning then the Cuban Missile Crisis would never have occurred. Kennedy's threats towards Cuba pushed Castro into a strong relationship with the Soviets and many things that Kennedy was praised for such as blockading Cuba were not even his own ideas. The cold war and super power rivalry continued until the Soviet president Gorbachev initiated peace proposels. By Charlotte Bool 11south ...read more.

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