Cuban Missle Crisis Essay

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Cuban Missle Crisis

On October 22, 1962, after reviewing newly acquired intelligence, President John F. Kennedy informed the world that the Soviet Union was building secret missile bases in Cuba, a mere 90 miles off the shores of Florida. After weighing such options as an armed invasion of Cuba and air strikes against the missiles, Kennedy decided on a less dangerous response. In addition to demanding that Russian Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev remove all the missile bases and their deadly contents, Kennedy ordered a naval quarantine (blockade) of Cuba in order to prevent Russian ships from bringing additional missiles and construction materials to the island. In response to the American naval blockade, Premier Khrushchev authorized
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Fueled by concerns that the U.S. had more nuclear missiles than the Soviet arsenal, and, more importantly, that some of the American missiles were based a mere 150 miles from its boarders, in Turkey, the Soviet leadership grew increasingly desperate to somehow tip the balance of power in its favor. The showdown in Cuba may indeed have been the result of such accumulating anxiety among the Soviet political elite.

Viewed in hindsight, it is not surprising that the Soviets chose Cuba as their stage of operations against the U.S. Ever since his rise to power in 1959, Cuban Premier Fidel Castro struggled to survive America's efforts to "encourage" his political demise. When General Castro came to power, the U.S. stopped buying Cuban sugar and refused to supply its former trading partner with much needed oil. After weathering the failed Bay of Pigs invasion by CIA-backed Cuban exiles in 1961, Castro observed as U.S. armed forces staged a mock invasion of a Caribbean island in 1962. The purpose of the invasion was to overthrow a leader whose name, Ortsac, was Castro spelled backwards. Although Ortsac was a fictitious name, Castro "got the message" and soon became convinced that the U.S. was serious about invading Cuba. Sensing an opportunity to gain a strategic

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