Cuban Missile Crisis Essay
It is ironic how Russia and America came so close to a full blown war over the small island of Cuba, just 90 miles from Florida. Cuba had long been an American ally and most businesses on the island were US owned. The US also had a huge naval base at Guantanamo.
Initially there was peace in Cuba under the US backed dictator Batista. US businesses profited and Cuba exported a large amount of sugar to America. However, the situation in Cuba became less stable as Batista became increasingly brutal toward his people and following a 3-year Guerrilla war in 1959, Fidel Castro overthrew Batista. Initially, Castro was not communist but a nationalist who wanted to ensure Cuba’s independence. Castro therefore began to take over businesses and industries that had been owned by the Americans but allowed the US to keep its base in Guantanamo. As a result, hostility between the two countries increased, and trade declined. Castro began to receive assistance from the USSR, trading Cuba’s sugar and oil for machinery from Russia. Russia soon became Cuba’s main trading partner and in 1961, Castro announced he had become communist.