Cuban Missile Crisis

  • Created by: Kate H
  • Created on: 11-05-14 18:40

How did Cuba become Communist?(Bay of Pigs)

  • During the 50s Cuba was ruled by corrupt dictator Batista. He was friendly with the US, who owned most of the businesses there. The US had a naval base at Guantanamo Bay
  • Fidel Castro led a group of armed rebels. He was a Socialist (Communist to US)
  • In 1959 Castro suceeded in taking over Cuba. He nationalised businesses to stop wealth going to US. Left the naval base at Guantanamo Bay
  • US government declared they wouldn't import any Cuban product, so Castro sold sugar to Soviets instead. Start of a close relationship and they started supplying Cuba with arms
  • Kennedy agreed that the CIA should work to overthrow Castro
  • In April 1961 the anti-Castro rebels, (trained by the CIA) were transported to Cuba by the US to the Bay of Pigs.
  • US planes disguised because Kennedy did not want to be seen as openly supporting rebels
  • The landing was disastrous and Castro easily beat off invasion. US denied involvement but everyone knew.
  • Castro declared they were Communist
1 of 4

Why did the Soviets place nucleur missiles in Cuba

  • (They sent SAMs, but also persuaded Castro to accept short and medium range missiles)
  • It would help Soviets to catch up in nucleur arms race- they didn't have enough ICBMs capable of reaching US, and strike time from Cuba would be short- possible to launch a surprise attack
  • Khruschev wanted to neogotiate with the US from a point of strength- would give the Soviets more bargaining power, and a propaganda success
  • Some argue that it was to protect Cuba as an ally, rather than threaten. With nucleur missiles , the US wouldn't dare invade Cuba
2 of 4

How did the Crisis develop?

  • September: Soviets told US they had no plans to place nucleur weapons on Cuba. However, short range missiles and was building missile launch sites
  • 14th October. US U2 spyplane took pictures of these sites
  • 22nd October. Naval blockade(quarantines)= best option. Soviets called on to remove missiles while US maintained a blockade around Cuba
  • 24th October. Soviet ships carrying missiles reached the blockade. Khruschev told them not to enter, but work on the missile bases continued.
  • 26th Ocotober. Khruschev wrote to Kennedy offering to remove missiles if US ended blockade and wouldn't invade Cuba.
  • 27th October. Another letter- US must also remove missile bases from Turkey. U2 plane shot down over Cuba. Kennedy publicly ignored the 2nd letter and accepted the conditions of the first. Although, US secretly agreed to remove from Turkey if it ended peacefully
  • 28th October. Agreement reached.
3 of 4

Who 'Won'? | & Results

  • US?
  • Faced up to Soviets and seemed willing to go to war if pushed
  • Kennedy had put Khruschev in the position of looking weak or agressive depending on how he reacted to the blockade- he looked weak
  • Had suceeded in removing missiles from Cuba


  • US promised not to invade Cuba, and Cuba remained an ally and base of USSR
  • US removed missiles from Turkey (although this was done secretly)


  • World felt it had come close to nucluer war: brinkmanship
  • Direct telephone hotline had been set up between Washington and Moscow to avoid another crisis
  • Nucleur Test Ban Treaty signed in 1962 which outlawed test explosions in open air
4 of 4


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all The Cold War resources »