Cuban Missile Crisis

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 The Cuban Missile Crisis, an event that occurred in October 1962, almost turned the Cold War “hot”, presumably destructive for humanity as we know it. However, the conflict proved manageable, to all participating sides, as no nuclear war actually occurred. To evade escalation of the conflict, involved nations were obliged to come to an agreement, and overcome their differences. To reach the phase of a resolution however, opposing states had to undergo a series of events, which escalated the conflict, thus being on the brink of war. In order to be able to understand how and why the USSR agreed to remove its missiles from Cuba and why the United States, though in secret, agreed to remove its armaments from Turkey and Italy, one must take a look and analyze a couple of events from that period. Firstly, an idea of why the crisis occurred should be taken into account. Then, an overlook of the events during the crisis would fully reveal how and why the exact resolution was agreed.

For a start, looking at the structural level, three important events, which brought the crisis, could easily be distinguished. First of all, it was the policy of the United States towards Cuba. US’ elite was greatly disturbed by the Revolution that took place in Cuba. Americans were very discontent with a country leaning towards leftist politics in their region. They thought that communist and socialist ideas would more easily be spread throughout the western hemisphere, if such a state existed. So it happened as Cuban revolutionaries proclaimed the socialist ideas in countries in Central and South America. In addition, with his coming into power, Castro enforced a nationalization of property. This proved disastrous for a lot of American corporations, based on the island in that period. United States’ political elite was determined to remove Castro from power. And so in 1960 Cuban politics made the United States’ Government to apply a partial embargo on Cuban brown sugar in addition to the arms embargo from 1958. (Haas, 1998, ???) This was done, with the idea that Castro’s power would be destabilized, therefore he would be removed from the ruling Government. However, this proved useful, so Dwight Eisenhower (President of the United States at the time), proposed a US invasion in Cuba, in order to overthrow the Island Nation’s leader. And so, under the newly elected president – John Francis Kennedy, in April 1961 the plans were carried out. This event became known as the Bay of Pigs Operation. The invasion however, proved a disaster, thus a public humiliation for the United States. Therefore, as cited by Absher, former president Eisenhower suggested that the Soviets might act in an unexpected way in response to the attack (Absher, 2009, ???). These actions against Cuba called forth the second important event, for the eruption of the crisis. Feeling vulnerable to another US invasion, Fidel Castro decided to further improve his relationship with the USSR by proclaiming himself a Marxist-Leninist and thus Cuba a communist country (Thomas; 1971, p1373). Castro’s actions provided the ideal circumstances for the Soviets, and therefore the third important event. Khrushchev began his importing of missiles to the island of Cuba, which, as he explained (after his actions were exposed), were purely a defensive measure. But Cuba’s defense was the leader’s least important idea. By 1962 the United States were leading USSR in the balance of power, having not only more ICBMs but also IBMs, placed strategically in Turkey, Italy and other European countries. Those missiles were a real threat to USSR, as it was in their range (Correll, 2005). Khrushchev was determined to compensate for that gap, by constructing missile launch sites in Cuba, as it was in the “backyard” of the United States. The Soviet leader, conceived that Kennedy was weak by character, decided that the placement of the armaments might give him leverage in the issue of Berlin. As...
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