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The Cuban Missile Crisis Essay

2092 words - 8 pages

'Now, as to Cuba - there's a place that could really lead to some unexpected consequences.' This statement by Nikita Khrushchev in 1962 shows his anger towards the United States and that he is in the position to threaten them with weapons (Chayes 47). When Khrushchev moved his weapons and troops into Cuba, it struck fear into the hearts of all Americans. The next two months would be devoted to President John F. Kennedy trying to get Communism, Khrushchev, and the missiles out of Cuba. This event showed that the U.S. may be able to place missiles around the world to threaten their enemies. But, when there are missiles only 90 miles from U.S. soil, aimed at major military targets, they were not prepared to face the fact that their nation could have been taken out in eighteen minutes.In April of 1962, Nikita Khrushchev, Chairman of the Council of Ministers for the Soviet Union was feeling pressured by the U.S. The United States had installed missiles in Turkey, just across the Black Sea from Russia. These missiles could strike Soviet soil in ten minutes, whereas it took Soviet Missiles located in Russia nearly twenty-five minutes to hit the United States. In a conversation between Nikita Khrushchev and Marshal Rodoin Malinovsky, the threat of the American missiles in Turkey was discussed. Malinovsky brought up the fact that they should place missiles closer to the U.S; Khrushchev then thought to place them in Cuba. Khrushchev told his plan to his colleagues and to the First Deputy Prime Minister Anastas Mikoyan. Khrushchev's plan was to deploy a small number of Medium Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBM's) in Cuba and then suddenly disclose their presence to the United States (Abel 31).A meeting was held in early May between Khrushchev, Mikoyan, Aleksandr Alekseyev, and other advisors to the Russian government. Alekseyev was brought back to Moscow from Havana at Khrushchev's request. Alekseyev learned about the placing of missiles in Cuba and he was informed that he was to be the new Soviet Ambassador to Cuba. Khrushchev then decided to send Marshal Biryuzov and Alekseyev to Cuba along with a routine delegation of agricultural experts, to provide cover for the mission and to determine Castro's reaction. The group's objective was to oversee the missile construction and to determine whether the missiles could be deployed in secrecy (McKean 68).The Soviets proposed an offer of military support to the Cubans 'all the way up to...deploying...Soviet medium-range missiles' on Cuban territory (Garthoff 16). Castro stated that, 'such an action would defend not only the Cuban revolution but also the broader interests in the struggle against American imperialism,' (qtd. In Garthoff 16). The next day Castro gave a definitive reply allowing the Soviets to go through with their plan. The Soviets were now supplying Cuba with missiles and massive arms. Throughout May and June, Cuba was being built up with heavy artillery (Smith 184).Along with the missiles the Soviets...

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