cuban missile crisis and the bay of pigs

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6 a) What happened at the Bay of Pigs, Cuba, in April 1961?

In January 1961, the USA broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba. This caused Castro to think the USA were about to invade. It was clear that the USA would no longer accept a Soviet satellite at the heart of its sphere of influence. In April 1961, President Kennedy supplied equipment to 1400 anti-Castro fighters so that they could invade Cuba and overthrow him. The fighters landed at the Bay of Pigs and were met by 20,000 Cuban troops armed with modern weapons and tanks. The invasion was a huge disaster and Castro captured or killed all the fighters within a few days.

B) Why did the USA place a naval blockade around Cuba in October 1962?

On the 14th of October 1962 Americas spy plane U-2 flew over Cuba and took photographs of what appeared to be nuclear missile sights that were clearly being built by the USSR. More photos from the following days showed that some of the sites were finished whilst others were still being built. Army experts said that the most advanced of the bases could launch missiles in just one week. There were also reports of around 20 Soviet ships sailing towards Cuba carrying nuclear missiles. Kennedy was informed of the situation on the 16th of October. He had 5 options of things to do in this situation. One option was to do nothing that was disbanded as to do nothing would be a sign of weakness. He could also create diplomatic pressure but if the USA were forced to back down, it would be another sign of weakness. Invasion and air attacks were other options but destruction of all the sights could not be guaranteed and to attack without advance was seen as immoral. In addition, there was almost definitely a Soviet equivalent response to protect Cuba from invasion. A blockade was Kennedy’s last option. He picked it because it would show that the USA was serious but it would not be a direct act of war. It would also put pressure on Khrushchev to act next. The USA had a strong navy and could still use the other options if this idea did not work.

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C) “The most important reason why the Cuban Missile crisis was solved was because the USSR was weaker than the USA”. Do you agree with this statement?

To an extent I agree with the statement “The most important reason why the Cuban Missile crisis was solved was because the USSR was weaker that the USA”. I think that there was a mixture of important reasons for the ending of the Cuban Missile crisis which lead to the point of the USSR being weaker than the USA.

 One was due to the quick thinking of Kennedy ...

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