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The Cuban Missile Crisis Of 1962

1495 words - 6 pages

The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 was one of the pinnacle moments during the Cold War. The Crisis is seen as the closest moment to a nuclear war in history by all countries. The standoff was the result of huge tension between USA and USSR over the nuclear arms race, which had the USA stockpiling Nuclear weapons all over the world near to the USSR, the closest being in Turkey and Italy. Khrushchev saw this as a threat and saw Cuba as a solution to the arms race. Although USA had nuclear warheads in Turkey, Kennedy wouldn’t allow USSR the same near America and would use aggressive tactics against the Soviet Union if needed. Throughout this essay I am going to interpret the core of each image and how the context is related or affected the crisis in anyway. The three images which I intend to go in depth with are the second, third and fifth; I have chosen the second image because it was the spark of the Crisis. I chose the third image because the relationship of Khrushchev and Castro is the core of the entire crisis. I have also chosen the fifth image because I believe the Berlin Crisis affected the decision making of Khrushchev and Kennedy during the Missile Crisis.
The first image represents the aftermath of the bay of pigs invasion in April 1961 and represents the failure of the operation; the prisoners shown are the some of the members of Brigade 2506 who were recruited by the CIA; Brigade 2506 were a group of Cuban migrants who fled to America in search of asylum as they were a part of the old regime and they were trained in guerrilla warfare by the CIA. The invasion was planned by the CIA and other high ranking officials including Eisenhower who had initiated the plan and then Kennedy who inherited the plan to help the anti-Castro guerrillas, although keeping it a secret because he feared world opinion . Although Cuba had not stated that it was a communist country, Castro asked for support from the Soviets before the Bay of Pigs invasion and slowly moved closer to Khrushchev and asked him for aid and support from the American pressure and boycotts, which inevitably gave Castro the excuse to openly ally with the Soviet bloc and claim Cuba to be socialist republic. The failure of the invasion was catastrophic, it was humiliating for USA and made Castro reacted by demand more support from the Soviets. Castro in an interview with Pravada in January 1962 said the United States were misinformed and underestimated the Cuban army . Khrushchev gave support to Castro and Cuba, seeing Cuba as a reassurance that his 'cause still had international vitality' . He also saw this as an opportunity to put pressure on the United States, like Kennedy did, putting warheads in Turkey and Italy. Kennedy may have seen this as a turning point in the Cold War and saw that the West may lose, which possibly made him take a hard line approach against the Soviets in the build-up and during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Image two is a picture taken by the U-2 spy plane doing...

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