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"The Cuban Missile Crisis" 2500 Words Detailed Analysis Of The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962, Including Long And Short Term Causes, The Crisis Itself, And The Long And Short Term Consequences

2492 words - 10 pages

The Cuban Missile CrisisJack MitchellIn October of 1962, the Cold War between the USA and the USSR, which had existed since the end of World War Two, climaxed when the USA discovered Soviet supplied nuclear missile bases on the Caribbean island of Cuba, a mere 90 miles from US coastline. What followed was the Cuban Missile Crisis, a political arm wrestle between the two superpowers of the world that lasted fourteen days and brought the world to the brink of nuclear catastrophe. The motives behind the USSR's decision to deploy the missiles in the first place are long and complex, as are the effects and repercussions of the move. The Crisis itself lasted fourteen days, from the 15th of October until the 28th of October 1962, and the entire time "nuclear catastrophe was hanging by a thread...and we weren't counting days or hours, but minutes" (Soviet Army Chief of Operations Anatoly Gribkov) .After the Cuban revolution of 1959, lead by left wing revolutionary Fidel Castro, and brutal dictator Fulgencio Batista's overthrow, relations between Cuba and the USA rapidly deteriorated and a very tense and hostile relationship emerged. As the new leader of Cuba, Castro wanted to make his country independent of the control the US had had on Cuba since the end of the Spanish rule in 1898, and he began to nationalize many aspects of Cuban business and industry. In retaliation to the subsequent economic losses that the nationalization of previously American-owned Cuban industry had on the USA, US authorities began to restrict trade with Cuba and refused to buy many of the Cuban exports which Cuba depended on for economic survival. The USA banned all trade in arms with Cuba, and considered banning the sugar trade, Cuba's main export. To counter the trade restrictions set in place by the Americans, Castro, who was increasingly moving towards a communist system of government, turned to the Russians for help. The USSR took advantage of the Cuban situation, which they saw as having strategic, economic and political benefits, and began to trade with Cuba in arms and other goods the US had placed embargos on. In practice, the Cubans now had an economy that had switched from dependence on capitalist USA, to reliance on communist USSR. This economic dependence on the USSR that Cuba had developed automatically allied them with the Soviets, and placed them in opposition to the USA. This political situation had now created the opportunity for Khrushchev to consider Cuba as a possible missile base locationTensions between the two neighboring countries increased further still when Kennedy and the CIA backed an invasion of Cuba by anti-Castro Cuban exiles in 1961. The Bay of Pigs invasion ended in complete disaster, with the invaders getting no further than the beach. The whole affair was a severe embarrassment for the young and inexperienced President, John F Kennedy, who had to pay $53 million in food and medical supplies to return the captured invaders. Kennedy now...

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