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. The opportunity of access into the Western hemisphere would have been appealing to the Russian leader, as it would clearly go against the wishes of the USA, who had not long previously had very close connections with the small country.

  The Berlin Wall was also a cause of the Cuban missile crisis in recognition of the confidence Khruschev gained in respect to the lack of response shown by America. The fact that Kennedy made no attempt to halt the building of the wall suggested that he was a weak president to Khruschev; this would have contributed to his decision to aid Cuba. With Kennedy as a President it is likely that Khruschev felt to get a foothold in the Western Hemisphere, particularly so close to America, would be worth any consequences this ‘weak’ president could inflict.

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   An ongoing rivalry between the USA and the USSR played a fair part in the taking place of the crisis in Cuba in 1962. The ideological differences between the countries often led to conflicts, like the Korean War. There was a mutual fear of each other; America had always feared Communism and the USSR remained in terror of the capabilities of weapons in the USA. The arms race had left both countries fearing the damage the opposing country could impose upon them. This arms race was an example of the fierce rivalry between the Super Powers. It is this ...

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