The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962

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  • Created by: bethedoc
  • Created on: 10-04-12 13:48

Cuba is a small island off the coast of America and in the 1950s, US had been great friend to Cuba as they supported its right winged leader, Batista through supplying it with weapons and Cuba's main export was sugar and it was almost exclusively sold to the USA and some of the richest and famous of USA's people regularly visited to gamble and holiday.

Although there were millions of dollars being pumped in to Cuba, little of it met the ordinary people as Batista and his friends were corrupt. This was too much for a man called Fidel Castro. He wanted to see that the people had rights and in 1959, after a three year revolution, Batista was overthrown and Castro was in power.

The first thing was to see that the old leaders of the government were punished for what they did to the ordinary people. He had many killed or sent to prison. Those who could, fled to the USA for shelter.

Castro took all the American businesses as he believed that they belonged to Cuba and its people. He did however let the USA keep its naval base that was on the east of the island.

In the summer of 1960, US spies discovered that Castro was gaining weapons....from the USSR. This was not good news for Kennedy, the US president. It meant that the Soviet Union was expanding into their sphere of influence, and although spies told him that there were no nuclear weapons on Cuba, he was unsure of what the USSR intended.

In January 1961, the USA took action and broke off its diplomatic relations with Cuba, showing that they were not going to tolerate a Soviet satellite in their 'sphere of influence'. By this point, Cuba's sugar exports that once went to the USA had now changed direction and was sold to the USSR, who were only too happy to help.

In April 1961, Kennedy decided to take action against Cuba as a US spy plane had recently taken photographs showing clear development of several nuclear missile bases. Kennedy could not tolerate this any longer when these missiles where only twenty minuets away from Washington. He launched the Bay of Pigs Invasion. He flew over 1400 anti-Castro exiles who had fled to the USA into Cuba and they landed at the Bay of Pigs. They were greeted with 20.000 Cuban troops who killed all 1400 within days. To the USSR, this suggests that the USA didn't want to get directly involved with Cuba, so the USSR kept sending weapons and missiles to Cuba.

In May 1962, Khrushchev, the Soviet leader, made a public announcement stating that the USSR was supplying Cuba with arms, but he didn't admit to the nuclear weapons now on the island.

By July 1962, Cuba had the best well-equipped army in the whole of Latin-America. Kennedy couldn't standby and watch any more. He knew that he had to do something and fast. On the 16th October 1962, Kennedy…




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