The Cuban Missile Crisis Essay

1346 words - 5 pages

The Cuban Missile Crisis

In 1962, an American spy plane discovered the Soviet nuclear missile
bases in Cuba. Castro had turned to the USSR for military assistance
in fear of a US attack. It was the sighting of these missile bases
that marked the beginning of the Cuban missile crisis. There were many
reasons why the Cuban missile crisis came about, and undoubtedly the
USSR and America's history played major roles in the coming about of
this incident.

The Soviet bitterness towards America following the Second World War
was amongst others one of the definitive causes of this crisis. Such
events as the Berlin blockade and airlift, the Berlin Wall and the
arms race had divided the two countries and left a remaining tension.
The blockade and airlift is evidence of the struggle for dominance
between the two super powers and the total difference in ideologies.
This surly relationship between the countries is likely to be why
Khruschev agreed to help Cuba when Soviet aid was requested. The
opportunity of access into the Western hemisphere would have been
appealing to the Russian leader, as it would clearly go against the
wishes of the USA, who had not long previously had very close
connections with the small country.

The Berlin Wall was also a cause of the Cuban missile crisis in
recognition of the confidence Khruschev gained in respect to the lack
of response shown by America. The fact that Kennedy made no attempt to
halt the building of the wall suggested that he was a weak president
to Khruschev; this would have contributed to his decision to aid Cuba.
With Kennedy as a President it is likely that Khruschev felt to get a
foothold in the Western Hemisphere, particularly so close to America,
would be worth any consequences this 'weak' president could inflict.

An ongoing rivalry between the USA and the USSR played a fair part in
the taking place of the crisis in Cuba in 1962. The ideological
differences between the countries often led to conflicts, like the
Korean War. There was a mutual fear of each other; America had always
feared Communism and the USSR remained in terror of the capabilities
of weapons in the USA. The arms race had left both countries fearing
the damage the opposing country could impose upon them. This arms race
was an example of the fierce rivalry between the Super Powers. It is
this competition that sees the countries going head to head at various
times. The Cuban missile crisis seems just another excuse for these
rival countries to challenge one another once again.

The battle to surpass each other extends to positions of influence.
America had control of missile bases in Turkey, which is positioned
very close to the USSR. Khruschev's eagerness to assist Castro may
have been to ensure Soviet weapons were positioned near to America: a
ploy to let the USA...

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