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Why was there a Cuban missile crisis in 1962?

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Why was there a Cuban missile crisis in 1962? In 1962, an American spy plane discovered the Soviet nuclear missile bases in Cuba. Castro had turned to the USSR for military assistance in fear of a US attack. It was the sighting of these missile bases that marked the beginning of the Cuban missile crisis. There were many reasons why the Cuban missile crisis came about, and undoubtedly the USSR and America's history played major roles in the coming about of this incident. The Soviet bitterness towards America following the Second World War was amongst others one of the definitive causes of this crisis. Such events as the Berlin blockade and airlift, the Berlin Wall and the arms race had divided the two countries and left a remaining tension. The blockade and airlift is evidence of the struggle for dominance between the two super powers and the total difference in ideologies. This surly relationship between the countries is likely to be why Khruschev agreed to help Cuba when Soviet aid was requested. ...read more.


Khruschev's eagerness to assist Castro may have been to ensure Soviet weapons were positioned near to America: a ploy to let the USA know that the USSR was as powerful a country as them. The fact that both America and the USSR influences were extending meant the two countries grew even closer; so the Cuban missile crisis is the result of the two countries desire to expand. The revolution leading to Castro's rule in 1959, combined with his Communist type policies led to America distancing itself from Cuba, which in turn was a major cause of the Cuban missile crisis. The Cuban revolution was quite an important instalment in history because it resulted in Castro coming to power which was the main reason the USA distanced itself from the country. The USA was very hostile to Castro; in response to his leadership, America ceased much of its trade with the country imposing a trade embargo. This distancing forced Castro to turn to a different country for economic aid: Russia. This was a big cause of the crisis because it was this action by America that forced Cuba to turn to another country for help. ...read more.


It seems most likely that the Soviet leader saw Cuba as a foothold in the Western hemisphere, at this time it was the only acknowldeged Communist outpost in the Western side. The fact that there were USSR missiles based in Cuba is obviously the biggest cause of the crisis merely because without these, there could not have been a Cuban missile crisis. Although it seems logical, as it was called the Cuban missile crisis, that the crisis should mainly involve Cuba, it is more accurate to say that it was a collision between the two Super Powers; the Soviet Union and the USA. It was after all the American decision to cease trade with Cuba that was the most important trigger to the incident and it was the Russian missiles based in Cuba that caused the actual crisis. It appears that this crisis is yet another run in between a country with Communist ideas and a country with Capitalist beliefs. In conclusion, it seems that the difference in ideologies between these two main Super Powers has been the cause of many casualties and the Cuban missile crisis seems to be exactly the same, the two powers struggling with a peaceful co-existence. Erin Baker Page 1 5/10/2007 ...read more.

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