cuban missile crisis

by psephology
Last updated 10 years ago

Social Studies

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cuban missile crisis

Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missile Crisis was the most threatening event of the Cold War, as it almost sent us into a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Cuba and the United States did not have a very good relationship, but Cuba depended on the United States to buy its sugar so it could buy oil. However, the Soviet Union offered to trade oil for sugar and Cuba was glad to get out of buying with the United States.

Convinced that the United States might possibly attack them, Cuba allowed the Soviet Union to put nuclear missiles on their island after Premier Nikita Khrushchev suggested it. The Soviet Union figured that they could use it to make sure that the U.S. couldn’t attack them. When the United States saw pictures of them building the missiles, President Kennedy immediately got together EX-COMM, his trusted advisors, to help him debate for a few days. They decided to place a naval quarantine around Cuba and ordered the Soviet Union to take their missiles out of the country.

EX-COMM received a letter from Premier Khrushchev saying that they would take out the missiles if the U.S. promised not to attack Cuba. The worst part of the crisis was when a U-2 plane was shot down on October 27, 1962 over Cuba and the Premier sent them another letter telling the U.S. that it would take the missiles out of Cuba if the U.S., in turn, took its missiles out of Turkey. They were advised to ignore this second letter and responded to say that they would follow the first letter’s directions instead. The missiles were dismantled and there was further discussion after their agreement.

This was the brink of nuclear war and neither side was getting what they wanted; they held out on both sides. We were very close to possibly starting a large, explosive and lethal war but we managed to negotiate just in time.


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