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

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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 at both the Bay of Pigs and over the Berlin Wall.

Conclusion

From their position in Cuba, any major American city was in range, the USA felt threatened by this as they felt that the USSR were 'in their own back yard.' In 1962 the USA discovered the missile bases on Cuba after Khrushchev had denied that they were anything other than SAMs (Surface to Air missiles) for defence. An American U2 spy plane discovered the missile sites and prompted Kennedy to blockade Cuba and issue an Ultimatum to the USSR, that the missiles must be removed within 30 days. This began the Cuban Missile crisis of 1962, where the world came within 2 days of nuclear war.

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • Over 150,000 essays available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

Related GCSE International relations 1945-1991

  1. The Cuban Missile Crisis: Was President Kennedy the Saviour of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

    Next, around noon, news reached EXCOM that a U-2 had been shot down over Cuba. Major Rudolph Anderson's spy plane was hit by a surface-to-air missile and crashed in the island's eastern jungle. EXCOM interpreted the action as a planned escalation of the situation by the Kremlin.

  2. Was the Cuban Missile Crisis a turning point in Relations between the Superpowers?

    In 1972 the President Richard Nixon visited Moscow. A year later Leonid Brezhnev returned the deed and visited Washington. A few years on in 1975 the Helsinki Agreement came along; the USA, USSR, Canada and other major European powers accept European frontiers set up after World War 2.

  1. Cold War Summary, quotes and revision notes.

    planes reported evidence of missile bases under construction in Cuba - Intelligence services found evidence of Soivet Ships carrying military supplies on route to Cuba - Kennedy was aware action need to be taken, called US National Security Council - Action involved "quarantine zone" around Cuba, on the 22nd of

  2. Cuban Missile Crisis

    This provoked the American government to take some sort of action to prevent this. Source D agrees with sources B and C as it also blames the crisis in Cuba on the Soviets. This is evident in the language President Kennedy uses when addressing Khrushchev on a national television broadcast

  1. The Cuban Missile Crisis Describe how relations between the superpowers worsened between 1959 ...

    Castro promised them a better quality of life. In 1959, Castro overthrew Batista and became president of Cuba. Castro began to cut off relations with U.S.A, and nationalised all of the Cuban businesses. This angered the U.S.A., and they withdrew from buying Cuban sugar.

  2. Why did the relations between superpowers worsen between 1945-1949?

    fact that a communist government was being set up in Poland and that Stalin had arrested the non-communist leaders of the country. Truman dropped an atomic bomb so that Japan would surrender before Russian troops could go into Japan. America had the bomb in July 1945, but Truman did not tell Stalin about it.

  1. Cuban Missile Crisis Sources Questions

    It draws on both the Soviet and American perspectives, as the Soviets see the USA guilty of an "anti-Cuban propaganda campaign" i.e. the USA's attempt at conspiring against the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. To the Soviets, the implications of American re-involvement in Cuba were threatening to say the least, as

  2. History Cuba Missile Crisis

    Workers were attracted by the jobs and houses open to them in West Germany. By the late 1950s, most of those leaving were professional people and students whose skills were needed for national development. In November 1958, Soviet Premier Khrushchev gave USA six months to agree to withdraw from Berlin

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.