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Slide 2

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w as a t it s coldest io u s year.
Cold W a r e p re v
In 1962 the th e B e r lin Wall th d t o g et t ough
s had buil t he promis e
e R u s s ia n b e c a u se
Th ha d be e n elected
wh o
Kennedy mmunists s il e s in T u rkey.
with the Co a n s p u t n u clear mis
r il 1 9 6 2 , t h e Americ
In Ap
In 1959, a rebel named Fidel Castro took power in Cuba, an island
just 90 miles away from Florida.
Before Castro took over, the government - led by Colonel Batista -
had been a corrupt and right-wing military dictatorship, but the
Americans had many business interests in Cuba.
When Castro
came to pow
Cuba. In reve er, he nationa
nge, the Ame lised America
imports of Cu r ic ans stopped n companies
ban sugar. T all aid to Cub in
backbone of h is was a blow a , and all
the Cuban ec to Castro as
USSR for he onomy. Castr sugar was th
lp, and, in 19 o was forced to e
million tonne 6 0 , the USSR s lo o k to the
s of Cuban s igned an agre
Communist w ugar every ye ement to buy
hen he took p a r . Castro, who 1
ower, becam had not been
e a Commun a
ist.…read more

Slide 3

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America was alarmed. In April 1961, with Kennedy's knowledge, the CIA
funded, trained, armed and transported 1,300 Cuban exiles to invade Cuba.
They landed at the Bay of Pigs and made an attempt to overthrow Castro. The
invasion was a disaster, and President Kennedy was humiliated.
In September 1961, Castro asked for - and Russia publicly promised - weapons
to defend Cuba against America. Which is why on 14 October 1962, the
Americans discovered the missile sites in Cuba. These sites brought every town
in the US within range of Soviet nuclear missiles. President Kennedy called a
meeting of the National Security Council and on 22 October went on TV to tell
the American people that they were under threat.
The crisis had begun.…read more

Slide 4

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The Crisis
President Kennedy did not dare to invade Cuba, because that action could
have started a world war - yet he could not let the missile sites be
completed. With his advisers, he decided on a naval blockade to prevent
Russian ships delivering the missiles for the Cuban sites.
v warned th
Russian fo at Russia w
rces were ould see th
nuclear bo put on aler e blockade
mbs; prepa t; US bomb as an act o
tension in ra tio n s e r s w e r e p f war.
both Wash w e r e made to in u t in th e air carryin
going to co ington and vade Cuba g
me to an e Moscow. E . There wa
missile bas nd. Secretl verybody th s massive
es - US ba y , th e American o u g h t the world w
ses in Turk s s u g g e s as
ey for Rus ted a trade
sian bases -off of
in Cuba.
The Russians made the first public move. The ships heading for Cuba
turned back, and Khrushchev sent a telegram offering to undo the Cuban
bases if Kennedy lifted the blockade and promised not to invade Cuba.
Then, as though having second thoughts, he sent a second letter
demanding the undoing of the Turkish bases. At the vital moment, a US
Howeve U2 spy plane was shot
r, Kenn
agreed ed
publicly y ignored the U
the sec to the fi 2 attack
ond. Th rst lette and
e crisis r, and s
was ove ecretly
r. to…read more

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Effects of the crisis
Speaking many years later, Khrushchev claimed that he had won the Cuban
missile crisis. He had achieved both his aims:
- America never bothered Cuba again (which is still a Communist country)
- US missile sites in Turkey were dismantled in November 1962.
The world did not see it that way at the time, because the Turkey deal was
kept secret, the West saw Kennedy as the hero who had faced down
Meanwhile, Khrushchev lost respect. China broke off relations with Russia
and, in 1964, he was forced to resign as Soviet leader.…read more

Slide 6

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On 29 October 1962, this
cartoon was published in the
'Daily Mail'. The caption read:
'OK Mr President, let's talk'.
The message of the cartoon
was clear - the world had
avoided a nuclear war, but it
was time for reason. In fact,
both leaders had frightened
themselves. Soon afterwards:
'OK Mr President, let's talk'
In 1963, a telephone hotline was set up to give instant contact
between the two leaders if there was a crisis.
In 1963, a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed.
In 1968, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was signed - the
superpowers promised not to supply nuclear technology to other
countries.…read more


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