The Cuban Missile Crisis

Published: 2019-09-23 10:30:00
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Our world has seen many events sad and happy, positive and negative, local and global. There have people so many wars and conflicts, that it is impossible to count. However, 20th century became a leader in the amount and cruelty of wars there were two world wars and a dozen of local weapon conflicts. World War II was the most terrible war of all that have ever happened in history millions of people, killed at front, millions of victims tortured to death in concentration camps, millions of civilians, murdered by occupants, bombs and other weapons. The level of destruction of the cities and countries cannot be compared with any other war before. No surprise, that after having finished the war, the aliens wanted to do their best to preserve the peace obtained with such great efforts.

Anyway, not long after the ending of the World War II a new conflict was going to raise. The countries, which used to be allies during the war, after it found themselves in the state of strong opposition and confrontation. On March 5 1946 Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister visited the United States and during this visit he gave his famous speech in Fulton, which initiated what was later called the Cold war. This was a brand new kind of conflict opposing to common weapon conflicts, which are hot, this war named cold because no active military operations were taking place. Nevertheless, the scale of the conflict was enormous the world was divided into parts, into two blocks. The world became bipolar and it threaten with a new real war.

In spite of being cold, this war contained several serious conflicts, which could result in the start of the World War III. One of such conflicts was the Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as the Caribbean Crisis or the October Crisis. It was a two-week (13 days) confrontation between the two sides of the Cold war the USSR and the USA. It took place from 16 to 28 of October 1962, giving this case the name of the October crisis. It started with the USSR putting its ballistic missile on Cuba. Because of Cubas geographical location it a serious threat for the USA there was Soviet weapon so close to the border with the United States. This crisis is considered the closest to the nuclear weapon conflict between the two states.

To understand the situation deeper, it is important to know about the background of the conflict. In 1959, Fidel Castro headed the revolution against the government and overthrew it. Castro became the leader of Cuba and announced its way to communism, creating close relationship between Cuba and the USSR. They became allies and the USA saw it a great threat to its safety. Therefore, in 1961 the United States attempted to make a new revolution on Cuba, organizing an invasion into the Bay of Pigs. This invasion failed and soon afterwards Soviet and Cuban leaders reached an agreement to place nuclear missiles of the Soviet Union on the territory of Cuba. This was made secretly in order to prevent possible further American invasions.

In summer of 1962 the construction of the missiles began and soon afterwards American intelligence found out about this. On September 4 of 1962 John Kennedy, the President of the United States, announced a public warning concerning the placement of Soviet weapon on Cuba. However, it did not stop the USSR and on October 14, 1962 American intelligence got some pictures which were showing the places, where Soviet weapons were situated. The following day these photos were shown at the White House. This day is counted as the beginning of the Cuban Crisis.

President Kennedy and his advisers started looking for a way out of this situation. There were different ideas concerning US actions in this case, but John Kennedy appeared to be a wise leader and strategist. First, he announced sea quarantine of Cuba on October 22, 1962. The same day he sent a letter to the USSR leader Nikita Khrushchev stating that the United States were against placing offensive weapons on Cuba. He demanded that the construction of the missiles was stopped and the ones that had already been installed were deinstalled. Moreover, he wanted to have the nuclear missiles returned back the Soviet Union. It was only the first letter among huge official and non-official correspondence between John Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev.

This case became widely known in the USA as President Kennedy did his best to attract public attention to this problem. He went on television and informed the public about the events on Cuba and the possible consequences this crisis may have had. However, it was only the beginning as on 24 of October Nikita Khrushchev replied to the message of John Kennedy and characterized US quarantine as the blockade of Cuba and regarded it as the act of aggression. Moreover, he rejected to spot the construction of nuclear missiles. On the other hand, the following day some of the Soviet ships left the quarantine line. Therefore, the USA military forces were in the condition of readiness to start the new war. Despite the fact that neither John Kennedy, nor his advisers saw any other way of ending the crisis except US invasion into Cuba, the President wanted to win some time for solving the problem peacefully.

On the same day John Scali, a correspondent from ABC News, reported that a Soviet agent had approached him and suggested a peaceful agreement between the USA and the USSR. This treaty was supposed to solve the problem without the USA invading Cuba. It was reported to the White House and it was a way to win more time from the side of the USSR. While the American side was investigating the trustworthiness of the source and its suggestions, Nikita Khrushchev sent John Kennedy a letter. This letter was not formal, but contained a lot of details and emotions. There was a suggestion, similar to the one, given to John Scali.

Both Nikita Khrushchev and John Kennedy understood perfectly well what this conflict could lead to and neither of them wanted to have such outcome of the situation. Khrushchev was writing to Kennedy:

If there is no intention to doom the world to the catastrophe of thermonuclear war, then let us not only relax the forces pulling on the ends of the rope, let us take measures to untie that knot. We are ready for this.

However, the following day the offer of Khrushchev was transformed he demanded that the USA remove their Jupiter missiles from the territory of Turkey. The US military forces were ready to start an attack on Cuba at any time. Kennedy made a decision to pretend that there had been no second letter from Khrushchev, so he wrote a reply to the Soviet leader and agree on the details of removal of the Soviet missiles from Cuba in return to the guarantee of not attacking Cuba. The same day General Robert Kennedy met the Soviet Ambassador in secret in order to inform him that the USA had had an intention to remove the Jupiter missiles from the territory of Turkey. On 28 of October 1962 announced the removal of the nuclear missiles of the Soviet Union from Cuba. As the consequence of the agreement between the USA and the USSR, the quarantine of Cuba was finished on 20 November 1962 while the Jupiter missiles were taken away from Turkey in 1963.

The Cuban crisis could have become the beginning of the World War III a conflict much more dangerous than World War II. The weapons used during the Second World war were perilous, but despite all its danger it was unable to kill so great numbers of people as nuclear weapon can. The weapon of the new generation was much more destructive and both leaders of the USSR and the USA understood it. This crisis was a single event of such scale and Nikita Khrushchev and John Kennedy were wise enough to solve this problem peacefully. Nobody knows how would such situation have finished if it occurred again, therefore it is highly important for the nowadays world leaders to learn how to solve the conflicts of different scale peacefully as it is very important to preserve peace in the world.

Works cited

Franklin, Jane. Cuba and the United States: A Chronological History. Melbourne: Ocean, 1997. Print.

Scott, L. V., and R. Gerald Hughes. The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Critical Reappraisal. Print.

"The Cuban Missile Crisis." History Today. Web. 21 May 2016.

"The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis: Castro, Mikoyan, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Missiles of NovemberBy Sergo Mikoyan, Ed. Svetlana Savranskaya." The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis: Castro, Mikoyan, Kennedy, Khruschev, and the Missiles of November. Web. 21 May 2016.

sheldon

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