The events of the Cuban Missile Crisis

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  • The events of the Cuban Missile Crisis
    • The Cuban Missile sites
      • USSR saw Cuba as a fix to a key strategic problem: US had missiles close to USSR (e.g. in UK and Turkey), but USSR had no sites near US
      • Cuba saw Soviet missiles as a great way of preventing US from invading again
      • Sept 1962, Soviet ships carried nuclear warheads and missiles to Cuba
      • Oct 1962, US spy planes photographed the missile sites and secret was out.
      • US public learned they were now in range of Soviet nuclear missiles, there was panic
    • How should US respond
      • Some of Kennedy's advisers ('the hawks') wanted to attack straight away but others ('the doves') wanted to avoid nuclear war
      • Ignore Cuban missiles: US had many missile bases close to USSR
      • Do a deal and get the USSR to withdraw missiles in return for US withdrawing one of their missile bases close to Soviet Union
      • Invade Cuba: US troops would invade and get rid of Cuban government
      • Nuclear attack: attack USSR quickly before they could attack US
      • Destroy Cuban Missile sites, could be done with airstrikes and so wouldn't need nuclear strikes or a land invasion
      • Blockade Cuba to stop any more missiles or equipment coming in from USSR
      • Warn Castro that his actions put Cuba in grave danger hoping he would decide to stop the missile site construction

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