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President Kennedy As The Savoir Of The Western World After The Cuban Missile Crisis

3276 words - 13 pages

President Kennedy as the Savoir of the Western World After the Cuban Missile Crisis

During the 1950s and early 1960s the state of relations between the
United States and Russian was poor. They were deep in a state of cold
war; a strong feeling of mutual mistrust. At this period tensions
reached new highs and this lead to a major arms race, especially where
nuclear weapons were concerned.

The soviets were almost desperate to keep up with the U.S. America was
at a considerable advantage, they had a hydrogen bomb capable of 5
times the damage of the soviet atom bomb. The Americans had also
created a nuclear powered submarine which they launched in 1955.
Source A2 (ii) explains the submarines capabilities which the soviets
feared so greatly, 'the vessel could stay submerged for very long
periods, did not need air to function……, a submarine cruising at high
speeds below the surface and for weeks on end'.

America's new submarine was fitted with nuclear warheads although they
weren't like others of their kind. Before the new Polaris missiles
most submarines had to surface in order to fire, but Americas new
missiles could be fired deep below the surface. Considering that the
Soviets did not have the capabilities to track the submarine, America
had major strategic advantages and this put them ahead in the arms
race. The new submarine was therefore described as America's new
capital ship.

Cuba was considered as Americas 'Back-yard', America saw that if any
enemy took over Cuba they would have a major security risk on their
hands. This is exactly what occurred in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Cuba was run by a very corrupt government, the Batista, it acted as
more of a dictatorship. This government was backed by this U.S as it
allowed them to monitor Cuba. Then came Fidel Castro. Castro took part
in the political elections and as part of his opening speech to the
nation stated all that he saw to be wrong with Cuba; 'The problem
concerning land: the problem of industrialization: the problem of
housing: the problem of unemployment: the problem of education, and
the problem of the health of our people;' He perceived that the people
of Cuba wanted change and briefly proposed action; 'we will take
immediate steps to solve, along with the restoration of public freedom
and public democracy.' This was exactly what the people wanted and
therefore Castro appealed to them. America was ignorant of Castro, he
immediately became classed as an enemy, although a historian of the
time (John Griffiths) suggested Castro was 'the most credible leader
of the time'. Considering that Castro was neither communist nor
capitalist, and only wanted what was best for Cuba, America had no
reason to fear him. It was Americas ignorance alone that led to their
biggest mistake, the Bay of Pigs incident.


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