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Cuban Missile Crisis Essay, Research Paper

After WWII, only two major superpowers existed. These two powers were, the United States and the Soviet Union. At the end of WWI Germany which had been the major superpower, along with the U.S. was destroyed. Therefore the Soviet Union took over. The Cold War was a period in which the Soviet Union and the U.S. were competing for power. This war was not really a war it was more like a competition. The U.S. and the Soviet Union started to figure out how nuclear weapons worked, and how to use them. Although these two nations were competing for power they had to realize that if either of them shot a nuclear weapon at the other, they would achieve mutual nuclear destruction. That was why the U.S. and the USSR came to a conclusion. They decided that instead of focusing on each other, they would point some of the missiles to other parts of the world. The Soviet Union did not want the U.S. to become the only superpower, so the government decided to install missiles in Cuba. As allies with the USSR Cuba agreed. With Fidel Castro under power things just became more complicated.

In the year of 1961, Fidel Castro kicked out of Cuba all the rebels that were against communism. All of these people went to Florida. The U.S. CIA trained these people so that they could go back into Cuba an overthrow Castro. Cubans found out and Castro was ready for it. U.S. plans failed completely. This event was called the Bay of Pigs, this particular situation made Soviets as well as Cubans believe, that it would be easy to crush the U.S. since Kennedy was young and inexperienced ( Palmer 1). Shortly after the Bay of Pigs invasion Nikita Krushchev and John Kennedy had a meeting in Vienna. Krushchev threatened Kennedy with the Berlin, which would prohibit access to Berlin. After this meeting Kennedy stated: I think he thought that anyone who was so young and inexperienced as to get into that mess could be taken, referring to the Bay of Pigs, and anyone who got into it, and didn t see it through, had no guts. So he just beat hell out of me. So I ve got a terrible problem. If he thinks I m inexperienced and have no guts, until we remove those ideas we won t get anywhere with him. So we have to act ( Kennedy 46). This meant that Kennedy was planning to show Krushchev that he was young, but not inexperienced and that the incident at the Bay of Pigs didn t mean anything and therefore he shouldn t be judged on that, because Krushchev will be surprised at what he will discover. As young as President Kennedy was, he knew what he had to do and how to handle the situation, without necessarily dealing with war. Kennedy was looking out for the best interest of the whole country.

Tension started to grow between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The Soviets having already implanted missiles in Cuba were sure of the definite destruction of the U.S. The Cuban Missile Crisis had a major effect on the power relations between the U.S. and Russia. The U.S. gained world influence, while the Soviet Union deteriorated. As Nikita Khrushchev decides to keep installing missiles in Cuba, the U.S. finds out about his offensive plan, and decides to do something about it.

Since relations between the U.S. and the USSR were not good the U.S. decided to keep an eye out, to make sure they ere safe. On October 15, 1962 when reconnaissance photographs revealed Soviet missile under construction in Cuba the U.S. panicked ( Leone 3). Early the next day, President Kennedy was told about the missile installations. Kennedy quickly and efficiently met with his advisers. After seven days, Kennedy decided to put a naval quarantine over Cuba

( Archer 7).

Kennedy decided to block the island, due to the fact that he wanted to prevent the arrival of more Soviet offensive weapons on the island. Kennedy now had a reason to destroy the Soviets. The hard evidence had been set, all the U.S. needed was guts. Despite this Kennedy wanted to prevent any type of war so he tried to find a way other than destruction.

The Crisis became a serious confrontation between the two most powerful nations in the world, the Soviet Union and the U.S. I t brought the world to the edge of nuclear war. The world had to hold their breaths for days ( Griffiths 9).

The Crisis lasted thirteen days. Those were probably the most horrible days that th world had to live. October 16, 1962: Washington, D.C., it all began, the discovery of the photographs, and the desperate need for a strategy, the U.S. decided on the Cuban blockade. October 22, 1962: Washington, D.C., President Kennedy went on all television and radio stations to broadcast as a matter of National Emergency ( Blight 103). The President wanted o inform all the citizens and let them know everything that was being done. To the American people he said: Let no one doubt that this is difficult and dangerous effort on which we have set out. Many months of sacrifice and self-discipline lie ahead in which our patience and our will , will be tested in which many threats and denunciations will keep us aware of our dangers. But the greatest danger of all would be to do nothing ( Kennedy 12). This message was sent to the people, Kennedy was trying to get them educated towards the subject. The broadcast guided people to understand what was going on, that although it was being taken care of, it was a serious matter, and there was something the U.S. as a country had to do, in order to fix the problem. October 22, 1962: Havana, Cuba, Cubans were getting ready. the country was put on the alert, armed and ready for the invasion that Cubans ere sure would come. October 22, 1962: Moscow, USSR, Khrushchev stated that the missiles were installed with the intention to avoid war not to provoke it. October 25, 1962, the first ship the Marucla was stopped at the blockade line. She was allowed her way, there were more potentially dangerous ships on the way. October 26, 1962: Washington, D.C., Krushchev stated that only a madman would start a war of total destruction. October 27, 1962: Pinar del Rio, Cuba, Major Rudolph Anderson, Jr., the pilot of the U2, was shot down over Cuba. October 27, 1962: Washington, D.C. Krushchev sent letters stating that the Soviet Union will dismantle the missiles as long as the U.S. does so as well, and promises not to invade Cuba. October 28, 1962: Washington, D.C., Krushchev agreed to remove the missiles from Cuba. October 28, 1962: Havana, Cuba, the crisis was over.

The Cuban Missile Crisis was the most dangerous passage of the cold war. Although there weren t any real tragedies as a result of the crisis, it did change the U.S. and USSR. The United States stayed a stronger power. Although the Soviets were the one s who started the whole thing, they were the ones to give up. This weakened the Soviet Union, in the eyes of the people and the eyes of the world. Historians can honestly say that the Cuban Missile Crisis what the closest period, the world has been on the edge of nuclear war.

The Cuban Missile Crisis had a major effect on USSR and U.S. relation. It was resolved in a reasonable manner. The crisis was a very strenuous time for many if not all Americans, since they had to wake up every morning not knowing if they would live or die. This was a very interesting episode in American History. It proves that although Kennedy was young, he was efficient. Probably the most prominent outcome of the war, was the fact, that the whole world didn t get blown into pieces. Moreover the fact that relations between the U.S.S.R and U.S. were in jeopardy wasn t very pleasing. The Cuban Missile Crisis was a true dilema of being eyeball to eyeball with the enemy, you just have to make sure, that they don t blink first ( Dudley 1). The Cuban Missile Crisis marked and epoch in national and international history. In today s world it is unsure of what can happen, but may be there will be more successes yet to come, only time will tell.


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