The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in the month of October, 1962 when American-Soviet relations were tested by the installation of nuclear missiles in Cuba by the Soviet Union. Many historians point to this moment in time as the closest the United States and the Soviets ever came to nuclear war. The tensions began to rise once the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, supported by the American government, failed to remove Fidel Castro from power in Cuba. As a result, Castro was open for the Soviet Premier Khrushchev to place troops and nuclear missiles to threaten the United States. Khrushchev considered this justifiable because of the American missiles positioned in Turkey.
The first force of action Kennedy decided to take on Cuba was the economic blockade. This was put in place because Cuba had just signed a trade agreement with the USSR, and Kennedy knew that the USSR having access to planting their missiles only 90 miles away from US territory could be very dangerous. “Since the 1960s, the United States has imposed an embargo against Cuba...the blockade, consists of economic sanctions against Cuba and restrictions on Cuban travel and commerce for all people and companies under US jurisdiction.” This quote is from this website. This was a very big decision that Kennedy made because Cuba and the U.S traded a lot of goods between the each other, and he knew that he would be cutting off that supply completely. A lot of people did not believe he was making the right decision, but Kennedy knew that if his judgement and thinking was corrupted by other people 's perspective than he wouldn’t be able to truly figure out what was the right
The Bay of Pigs was an invasion that the CIA had financed which involved training a group of Cuban refugees to land in Cuba. The primary goal of the invasion was to get rid of the communist government led by Fidel Castro. The Outcome of the invasion was unexpected, and the invasion failed miserably. The plan failed due to last minute cancellations of airstrikes, and the lack of knowledge that Castro had ordered 20,000 troops in advance to go to the attack site; this resulted in having the Cuban Air Force dominating the sky, which did not allow the U.S army to fight back. As the invasion went on, the chance of the U.S winning decreased within every hour.
After that, convinced that Arbenz threatened U.S. national security because of his alleged Communist sympathies, Eisenhower approved the first-ever clandestine military action in Latin America. June 18, 1954, after approximately one year of preparation, U.S.- backed troops invaded Guatemala with the intention of overthrowing Arbenz. Realizing his army had forsaken him and fearing for his life, Arbenz resigned as president on June 27th and fled to Mexico. The U.S.-chosen leader of the military coup, Carlos Castillo Armas, assumed control of the government, thus ensuring the promotion of American interests in Guatemala.
Fidel plays a significant role in the Crisis in terms of alignment with a great power in conflict, resulting with an involvement in a conflict himself and the agreement of the placement of nuclear weapons on the Cuban soil, that triggered American anger even more than it had already been done after two failed invasion attempts. Section E – Conclusion To justify the significance of Fidel’s role in the Cuban Missile Crisis aspects such as Khrushchev’s real intentions and Kennedy’s actions must be taken into account. Knowing the lack of respect that Khrushchev had for Fidel and the amount of effort that the US put in attempting the invasion of Cuba, twice, the conclusion can be made as the Cuba was an area that was significant to the Cold War and for the two great powers to balance with each other. The amount of effort it took to solve the problem (an exchange of letters) shows that the problem wasn’t as great since it was easy to resolve. Word count: 1,529
United States’ Embargo Against Cuba Should Be Lifted On October 19, 1960, United States’ President Dwight D. Eisenhower broke ties with the country of Cuba, creating a trade embargo between the two nations. One year later, current president Barack Obama was born. Today, 55 years later, President Obama is fighting for the end of a policy that has existed longer than he has. The long-standing embargo with Cuba has lasted too long; no one is gaining anything from it, if they ever actually had. Although it is argued that Cuba is still a threat to the United States, Congress should follow President Obama’s plan to lift the Cuban trade embargo to benefit both countries involved.
The Kennedy administration would give it another try in 1961 and 1962 with Operation Mongoose which would even further put strain on the United States and Cuban relationship. During the one year period Operation Mongoose and the Cuban Missile Crisis would take center stage. It was brought to the attention of the administration by way of a U-2 spy plane that the Soviet Union was supplying materials and constructing nuclear missile sites on the island of Cuba. (Figure 2, Atomic Archive) The effective range of these missiles could reach as far as New York, Chicago, and possibly San Francisco. The imaging of the sites went unnoticed by Cuba and the Soviet Union and President Kennedy would then send a naval blockade around the island of Cuba.
The Cuban Missile Address is delivered October 22nd, 1962 in the Presidential office through a major radio and television address (Podell, Anzovin, and States United 705). Historically, it is worth mentioning that United States had attempted to overthrow Fidel Castro, who was at the time Prime Minister of the Republic of Cuba, in at least two occasions known as the Bay of Pigs Operation and Operation Mongoose, because of his communist regime and close relationship with the Soviet Union (Pious). Then, after the Bay of Pigs incident, Fidel Castro urged Nikita Khrushchev, the Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, to send support and weapons to Cuba, because of the fear of another attack to his person/regime, Nikita did by sending missiles capable of carrying weapons of mass destruction, hence, this major crisis that lasted 14 days ending October 28, 1962 (Deinema and Leydesdorff). In addition, the target audience for this speech is the American people as President starts his speech with the phrase, “Good evening, my fellow citizens” (Kennedy); however, the secondary audience would be the Cuban people, whom he describes as captive people, the Soviet Union leaders, whom he directly addresses and even quotes, and Fidel Castro of course (Kennedy). As noted above, the cultural, socio-political context is important to understand the seriousness of this crisis and
The Bay of Pigs Operation The Bay of Pigs Operation is the U.S. final measure in preventing the spread of communism into the western hemisphere. For years the CIA and other intelligence agencies have taken interest in Cuba, following the overthrow of U.S. backed Cuban Leader Fulgencio Batista by rebel leader Fidel Castro. The initial proposal of the operation is to outgoing President Eisenhower towards the end of his administration. President Eisenhower approves of the initial plan to overthrow the newly formed Castro regime. President Kennedy approves the final plan early in his administration.
“Communism has never come to power in a country that was disrupted by war or internal corruption, or both.” - John F. Kennedy, July 1963. All of the Cold War Presidents had some ways of dealing with Communism. Truman and also Eisenhower had their same ways of dealing Communism.However Eisenhower was using Military Response, but Kennedy used Flexible Response. Edward Ayers stated in their book, The American Anthem, the Cold War was an time period when the US and the Soviet Union were against each other because of when they had conflicts between each other, but mostly from the Berlin Crisis (819). A Belief that all property and resources are owned by a certain person (Ayers 594).