CUBA: Involvement in Cold War

Fidel Castro vs. the CIA
Cuba is a communist country located in the Caribbean sea. During the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union the United States made
attempts to overthrow the Cuban regime at the Bay of Pigs as well as Operation Mongoose.The Bay of Pigs was an invasion by a CIA source of Cuban exiles to invade Cuba in April 1961. The United States was highly interesting in the political demise of Fidel Castro. After this invasion failed, President Kennedy launched a special operation called Mongoose that used propaganda, psychological welfare, and CUBA-W1.gifin order to remove communist leaders from power. Fidel Castro was the communist leader in Cuba at this time and was responsible for the Cuban Revolution under his socialist

Nuclear War?
The Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest the world has ever come to a nuclear war. "Nuclear catastrophe was hanging by a thread ... and we weren't counting days or hours, but minutes." -Soviet General and Army Chief of Operations, Anatoly Gribkov. The United States army had developed extremely powerful nuclear weapons capable of reaching and destroying all parts of the Soviet Union from the United States.The Soviet Union was behind the United States in the arms race and needed to come up with a plan in order to protect themselves in case of an attack. The communist leader of the Soviet Union, Premier Nikita Khrushchev, worked with Cuba's communist leader Fidel Castro who also wanted to protect his country from the United States' nuclear weapons.Premier Khrushchev began to secretly build its missile installations in Cuba in the summer of 1962.On October 15th 1962 the United States obtained photographs of bombs being assembled by the Cuba and immediately informed President Kennedy. Kennedy and his advisers decided a naval quarantine would be placed around Cuba so that more Soviet troops could not bring more weapons onto the island. The President had to gain the approval of the OAS for military actions under the Rio Treaty since the quarantine took place in international waters. Kennedy alerted the United States of the atomic weapons located in Cuba and informed Cuba that any missile fired at any U.S. territory would be regarded as an attack on the United States of America. Low-level reconnaissance missions were set to take place every two hours in Cuba. Khrushchev became worried and sent the President a letter saying he would remove Soviet army and missiles if the United States agreed not to invade Cuba. After a U-2 Soviet plane was shot down over Cuba, the Ex-Comm (Kennedy's Advisers), Khrushchev sent the U.S. another letter demanding the removal of U.S. missiles in Turkey in exchange for missiles being removed in Cuba. Kennedy bravely chose to ignore the letter. On October 27th Kennedy and Khrushchev agreed to meet in a restaraunt in Washington D.C. Khrushchev once again tried to persuade the President of the missile trade regarding Cuba and Turkey which kennedy could not do because it went against NATO which was an agreement of mutual defense between certain nations in the event of an external attack.On October 28th Khrushchev stated that he would dismantle all installations of missiles because he trusted that the United States would not invade Cuba. If the United States invaded Cuba the Soviets were ready launch the nuclear weapons at any time. Would peace between the nations finally be returned? Or was Khrushchev lying about dismantling the bombs?

Cuban Missile Crisis Timeline

October 15th 1962- A United States Air Force pilot named Richard Heyser presents the United States government with photographic proof that Soviet missile bases were being constructed in Cuba.
October 16th 1962- President Kennedy ands his Executive Committe called the EX-COMM discuss America's options in regards to the nuclear weapons in Cuba. Possible options were: no action, using diplomatic pressure to get the Soviet Union to remove the missiles, Kennedy,_Khrushchev,_Castro.jpgthreaten Castro, use the Navy to prevent the Soviets from bringing more missiles into Cuba, have the Air Force attack all known missile sites, and lastly use a full force invasion in Cuba and overthrow Castro.
October 17th, 18th, and 19th 1962- President Kennedy meets with Andrei Gromyko, Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs, who originally denied any weapons being in Cuba. He later told the Uniuted States the weapons were there strictly for defensive purposes. JFK knows he will not tolerate any Soviet Weapons on Cuba and meets with secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and the Joint Cheifs of Staff. President Kennedy wanted to avoid an airstrike because he felt it would give the USSR a clear line to take Berlin and did not want the United States to appear trigger happy.
October 21st 1962- President Kennedy felt that an airstrike would result in too many casualties and decided a naval blockade would be most effective in cutting the Soviets in Cuba off from the rest of the world.
October 22nd 1962- JFK announces his plans to the American public and lets them be aware of the current situation going on in Cuba, that U.S. military alert is set at DEFCON 3, and that Castro has mobilized all of Cuba's military forces.
October 23rd 1962- Naval vessels are in place for the blockade of Cuba. Recconaissance photos reveal that Soviet missiles are prepared to launch. Robert Kennedy exploits his frustration that the United States oculd not locate the missiles sooner when he says,"Now we are closing the barn door after the horse is gone."
October 24th 1962- Soviet ships come in contact with the quarantine line and, suprisingly hold their ground.
October 25th 1962- DEFCON 2 is set to the highest ever in United States history. The Soviet Union is confronted at the United Nations by U.S. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson, but they refuse to respond.
October 26th 1962- Khrushchev sends the letter to the EX-COMM stating the Soviets will disarm missiles and evacuate Cuba if Kennedy publicly guarantees that the United States will not invade Cuba.
October 27th 1962- Khrushchev sends his second letter to EX-COMM agreeing to remove nuclear weapons from Cuba if the U.S. removes its weapons from Turkey as well as publicly stating they will not invade Cuba.
October 28th 1962- In an aired speech on the radio, Khrushchev states he will remove weapons from Cuba and does not insist on his demands being met regarding Turkey. The missile crisis is officially over.
Novemeber 21st 1962- President Kennedy finally removes the quarantine from around Cuba and peace is restored.

The Aftermath

Krushchev and the Soviets were embarrassed by their decision to evacuate Cuba and disassemble their weapons. Within two years Khrushchev lost all power in the Soviet Union and was forced to resign from his position. Fidel Castro was upset with the Soviet Union and Khrushchev because he had not been involved in the missile negotiations with Kennedy and considered it to be betrayl that they met the United States' demands. Khrushchev did not even consult Castro on the removal of the weapons and left him out to dry. Cuba still has not been invaded to this day. Although there are many negatives about this crisis some good did come out of it. The Moscow-Washington hotline was put in place which was a direct communication link between leaders in the United States and the Soviet Union in order to prevent problems like this from arising in the future. In 2000 U.S. President Bill Clinton and Cuban President Fidel castro shook hands signifying peace between the great nations. the United States continues to hold a positive relationship with Russia (formerly known as the Soviet Union).


Work Cited

"Fourteen Days in October: The Cuban Missile Crisis." Think Quest Team , 1997. Web. 2 May 2011. <>.

"Cuban Missile Crisis." John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Columbia point, 2010. Web. may 2nd 2011.

"The Cuban Missile crisis 1962." The National security Archive. Norton & Co., 2002. Web. 2 May 2011. <>.

White, Mark. Missiles in Cuba. The American Way Series. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1997. pg.72-108. Print.

McNamara, Robert S.The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. New York City: The New Press, 1992. pgs. 35-42. print.