The Cuban Crisis Of Nuclear Missiles

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The Cuban crisis of nuclear missiles


Within the framework of the Cold War and with nuclear weapons as a deterrent, the Soviet Union saw in Cuba an opportunity where missiles that will intimidate the US.UU., balancing, in this way, the threat that the American missiles located in Turkey and Italy supposed for the Soviet. At the same time, the island could create the basis for future communist revolutions in Latin American countries. Thus, the Soviet military maneuver in Cuba meant, without a doubt, a strategic feat that Americans took to discover.

During the four months at the beginning of the conflict the Soviets secretly introduced in Cuba, through the cunning Operation Anadir, 43.000 military, 42 medium -range missiles, 45 nuclear eyes, 42 bombers and 24 launch platforms to protect the island from a possible US attack.UU. On October 14, 1962, one of the American spy airplanes U-2 photographs the western part of the island that showed the presence of offensive weapons and launch platforms. 


At that time the suspicions of the United States were confirmed, although the USSR had denied it on numerous occasions. A day later, high leaders of the American government of photographs are informed, but do not decide to communicate it to Kennedy until the next day. The increased special group (created by Kennedy to overthrow the Castro regime) dictates increasing undercover activities on the island. The next day, Kennedy forms the National Security Council, a group of expert consultants to study the proposals for the discovery.

Where he supports pressures from the pigeons (pacifists), who advocate a rapid and overwhelming military attack on Cuba;And of the hawks who, although also necessary a military attack, persist in the low guarantee of destruction of all missiles and the proportion of the response of the USSR. The four main alternatives were the following: Air Surgical attacks for the destruction of offensive armament;Attack of military headquarters in Cuba;broader attack and invasion of the island;4) sea block and diplomatic negotiations. 

Finally, the blocking strategy seems to be the most successful option. At the same time, Khrushchev insists that Soviet military activity on the island has a mere defensive character and censures nuclear missiles in Turkey and Italy. On the 17th, the US ambassador.UU. Before the UN defends the path of negotiation, raising emissaries that negotiate with Castro and Khrushchev. The main supporter of the blockade is the United States Secretary of Defense, but members of the Special Group are worried about a possible blockade to Berlin as a response from the USSR.

October 18 was a very tension day. The Board of Chiefs of Staff of the United States is cited, which supports an imminent military operation, but Kennedy does not agree: he thinks that the Soviet will answer with harsh reprisals. He has an encounter with the USSR Foreign Minister, who denies the existence of nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, the spy airplanes see how the missiles in Cuba are installed very quickly, being able to be thrown in a few hours. The next day, North American Armed Forces aircraft make it clear that at least four other places are being carried out for missile launch. 

Meanwhile, EE.UU. Study the legal channels to carry out the blockade to Cuba: the option of air attack begins to lose strength. The United States formulates diplomatic and military strategies, which include the elevation of alert levels and the exchange of information with their NATO allies. In a press conference US government officials avoid the possibility of missiles on the island. On October 20, the Executive Committee recommends maritime block, called quarantine, to be better received by international opinion. 

The Secretary of Defense, R. McNamara, prepares for an eventual offensive to Cuba, but Kennedy insists that quarantine is the most appropriate maneuver. The US ambassador.UU. In the UN, he raised the dismantling of American missiles based on Turkey and withdraw the Guantanamo base, but his suggestion was denied. From the 21st, the United States armed forces decree defcon – 3 (high alert), reinforce the Guantanamo base and display the necessary forces for blockade. The American tactical aerial command informs that a possible air attack on Cuba could not tear down all missiles. Even so, Kennedy decides to prepare an attack for the next morning. 

The press finds out about the situation but the president begs not to publish it. On October 22 Khrushchev orders their ships to follow the route to Cuba. The president of the United States addresses the nation with a message on television and radio warning of the presence of atomic missiles in Cuba and announcing their sea block;Kennedy also censures the Soviet for having lied about their existence, while demanding that missiles replicate and promise a sharp military retaliation in case of its launch. On October 23, the Soviet president announces that his country does not recognize the right to the US.UU. 

To establish a naval block to Cuba and that this is an aggression, warning that the Soviet ships will shoot the North American ships if they prevent them. Castro announces the maximum alert in Cuba and declares that the country will not disarm until.UU. its hostility policy. Public opinion sees a possible third world war nearby. On 24, the US maritime block begins.UU. To Cuba and the Soviets are ready to attack the American fleet that stops their ships. Khrushchev declares that the siege is an act of provocation and EE.UU. Raise the alert level to defcon. 

25, Adlai and. Stevenson (US Ambassador.UU. at the UN) puts the Soviet diplomat, which continues to deny the shipment of nuclear weapons to Cuba. Pope John XXIII makes a plea for the two powers to reach an understanding and act with sense. North American ships stop a Soviet oil tanker, but they let it continue their way because it does not carry armament. The option of dismantling the facilities in Turkey is proposed in exchange for those of the Soviets in Cuba. On October 26 Kennedy proposes a possible invasion of the island because he believes that the blockade is not reaching its purpose.

Kruschev sends a letter to the US president in which he suggests withdrawing the island missiles if.UU. He undertakes not invading or helping others to do it, while demanding that he withdraw the missiles from Turkey, all orchestrated without the consent of Cuba. Castro decides to shoot the American airplanes that fly over their territory. The so -called black Saturday (October 27) a spy plane is demolished in Cuban airspace: it is feared by a nuclear war. Kennedy manages this fact with enormous temperance and orders his men not to attack, but warns that there will be reprisals if the incident is repeated.

 Kennedy sends a message to Kruschev promising not occupying the island if they remove the nuclear bases. On the 28th, the Soviet president sends a letter by declaring the intention of retreatThe USSR. Castro demands the end of the economic embargo on the island, since Kennedy’s will does not trust, and the adoption of five measures.

With which relations between the three countries could have been normalized, but their requests are not granted. Finally, on October 29, the Soviet president informs Castro about the pact with the Americans. The development and outcome of the missile crisis will have multiple consequences for Americans and Soviet, generating a climate of peaceful coexistence in a context that forced both countries to alter their political lines to achieve a certain distension, with better bilateral relations, although thisHe did not prevent the ideological and political conflicts from continuing between the United States and the USSR. 

In the first place, the immediate consequence of the conflict was the death of the American pilot who was driving the demolished plane when he violated the airspace of Cuba, on October 27. EE.UU. He will gain prestige and power and become seen by the rest of the world as the only great power, where Kennedy acquired prominence for his way of facing the conflict. EE.UU. He had to accept in his area of influence (America) an adversary regime to his ideology (Communist Cuba) by committing to not invading the country. 

On the other hand, the Soviets achieved the objective of replicating the American missiles of Turkey in March 1963, which so many fears infused. A month later, the United States withdrew economic aid to the Cuban Revolutionary Council, counterrevolutionary who intended to free Cuba from the Castro regime, since he had reached the agreement not invading the island. In November 1963 Kennedy was killed by a procastrista. Khrushchev’s behavior made relations with Cuba worse for negotiating behind him and hiding information.

In 1964 they dismissed the Soviet leader of the position and that was when the Soviet Union began to increase its nuclear weapons, which led to the USA.UU. to lose the category of unique world power. Regarding international organizations, it should be noted that NANA. They agreed that adequate and balanced conventional and nuclear forces were necessary to provide the alliance with the widest possible range of response to any threat that could be directed against their safety » .

In 1963 the red telephone was created, more diplomatic route to have rapid and direct communication between the two countries in times of crisis. In August of that same year, the Moscow Treaty was signed between the Soviet Union, EE.UU. and Great Britain, which prohibited nuclear tests. Another of the consequences of the crisis was the Helsinki conference (1975), in which greater cooperation was agreed between states and respect for borders and human rights, refraining from resorting to the use of force and fixing thePacific media disputes.

In the 60 Cuba embodied a clear danger to the US.UU., since his government, openly declared communist under the protection of the Soviet Union, was really close to the US territory. This crisis represented the most critical moment of the cold war and it was when the world was closer to a nuclear holocaust. We appreciate how the deterrent strategy with the great nuclear weapons by both powers has great efficiency and highlights the usefulness of diplomatic route to resolve the conflict. Pacific coexistence between the socialist and capitalist bloc is undeniable.


Where hostility by non -war means becomes evident through atomic arsenal and fear generated by the possibility of mutual annihilation. The permanent tension of these two antagonistic blocks is the general tonic of this stage, in which they seek the expansion of their systems and ideologies in other countries to become stronger. The decisions and non-belligerent attitude taken by the leaders of the two super-poles contributed to avoiding world war, although in the eyes of international opinion, the United States was the clear victorThe USSR.

The latter also achieved their goal: the withdrawal of missiles in Turkey (which was not made public at that time) and the promise of non -invasion to Cuba. At the same time, Castro fulfilled part of his goals by having the guarantee of not suffering again an attack captained by the Americans (although there was no absolute security), not letting his airspace fly over or allowing supervision during the dismantling of missilesIn its territory, highlighting the courage of the Cuban government, which made it gain certain recognition of the revolution. 

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