Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missile Crisis was a Cold War dangerous political and military predicament which arose when the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro decided to install medium-range nuclear missiles in Cuba. This explosive military situation reached its peak in October 1962, when President John F Kennedy anounced on October 22 that he was ordering an immediate naval quarentine (blocquade) of all offensive military equipment on its way to Cuba from the Soviet Union, demanding the prompt removal of the Soviet-installed missile bases.

Although both Castro and Nikita Khrushchev maintained that the weapons Cuba had received from the Soviet Union were purely defensive in nature, American aerial photographs, which were taken from a U-2 plane, indicated the existence on the Caribbean island of offensive missile bases which were being built by experts of the Soviet Union. The construction of secret missile bases had begun in early September 1962 by the Cuban and Soviet governments. These medium- and intermediate-range ballistic nuclear missiles had the capacity to strike most of the cities in continental United States.

Several Soviet ships heading for Cuba altered their courses, while two other Soviet ships bound for the Caribbean nation were stopped by American warships and searched for offensive nuclear weapons, and then allowed to continue on their way as none had been found. After several days of suspense and tension, Khrushchev began to yield. The Soviet Premier ultimately offered to dismantle the military bases and remove the offensive weapons if the United States would pledge not to invade Cuba. On October 26, Kennedy accepted the proposal. Thus the Cuban Missile Crisis was at an end. The two super powers had averted a nuclear war, for the armed forces of both country had already been put on red alert.

The true culprit of the crisis was the Cuban minister of industries Ernesto "Che" Guevara who had persuaded Castro and Khrushchev for the installation of the nuclear weapons; he had stated that in the event of a nuclear war Cuba and the communist world would come out victorious. During an interview with the British Communist newspaper The Daily Worker a few weeks after the crisis, Guevara still fuming over the perceived Soviet betrayal, stated that if the missiles had been under Cuban control, they would have fired them off.

Cuban Missile Crisis Documentary

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