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Why was there such a major crisis between the superpowers over Cuba in 1962?

  • Essay length: 380 words
  • Submitted: 15/09/2003
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GCSE International relations 1945-1991

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Why was there such a major crisis between the superpowers over Cuba in 1962?

When Fidel Castro overthrew the Cuban government he nationalised businesses in Cuba. Many of these were American. This angered the USA and provoked them to ban imports of Cuban sugar. As the USA would not buy the produce, Castro turned to the USSR to trade in return for oil and machinery. This made the alliance between Cuba and the USSR stronger. In America, Kennedy had become president. He was America's youngest ever president, making him look weak to international opponents. Kennedy allowed a group of rebels to invade Cuba in 1961. The rebels told the CIA that on arrival at the 'Bay of Pigs' in Cuba, many Cubans would join them but this didn't happen. When they arrived they were outnumbered and within three days were killed or arrested. The failure of this attack made the USA and especially Kennedy look vulnerable causing Khrushchev to believe that he could push Kennedy about. It also made Castro more popular. However, his failure at the Bay of Pigs made Kennedy more determined to stand up against the USSR in the future as he had been humiliated

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