The Cuban Missile Crisis

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Causes

When Castro came to power, however, he nationalised American companies in Cuba. In retaliation, the Americans stopped all aid to Cuba, and all imports of Cuban sugar. This was a blow to Castro as sugar was the mainstay of the Cuban economy. Castro was forced to look to the USSR for help, and, in 1960, the USSR signed an agreement to buy 1 million tonnes of Cuban sugar every year. Castro, who had not been a Communist when he took power, became a Communist. 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.

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Repercussions 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) and the US missile sites in Turkey were dismantledin 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 Communism.

Meanwhile, Khrushchev lost prestige. China broke off relations with Russia and, in 1964, he was forced to resign as Soviet leader.

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Lasting effects of the crisis

  • -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.
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The bay of pigs

On April 17, 1961, 1400 Cuban exiles launched what became a botched invasion at the Bay of Pigs on the south coast of Cuba. In 1959, Fidel Castro came to power in an armed revolt that overthrew Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.However, the invasion did not go well: The invaders were badly outnumbered by Castro’s troops, and they surrendered after less than 24 hours of fighting.

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