The Description Of Events Under The Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as the October Crisis of 1962, the Caribbean Crisis, or the Missile Scare, was a one-month, four-day standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union that erupted into an international crisis when American missile deployments in Italy and Turkey were countered by Soviet deployments of similar ballistic missiles in Cuba. Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader, had gambled on sending the missiles to Cuba in order to boost his country's nuclear strike capability. The Soviets had long been worried about the amount of nuclear weapons fired at them from sites in Western Europe and Turkey, and the deployment of missiles in Cuba was seen as a way to level the playing field. The aggressive relationship between the United States and Cuba was also a crucial element in the Soviet missile scheme.In reaction to the presence of American Jupiter ballistic missiles in Italy and Turkey, as well as the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev agreed to put nuclear missiles on Cuba to prevent possible invasions.
Fidel Castro (1926-2016), a leftist activist who seized power in the Caribbean island nation of Cuba in 1959, allied himself with the Soviet Union. Cuba became increasingly reliant on the Soviet Union for military and economic assistance under Castro. During this time, the United States and the Soviet Union (along with their allies) were engaged in the Cold War (1945-91), a series of mainly political and economic conflictsConstruction of a range of missile launch facilities began later that summer, following a secret meeting between Khrushchev and Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro in July 1962.Meanwhile, the United States was holding elections in 1962, and the White House had been denying for months that it had been ignoring deadly Soviet missiles 90 miles (140 kilometers) from Florida. They could easily hit targets in the eastern United States from that launch point. The missiles, if allowed to become operational, would radically alter the nuclear rivalry between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), which had previously been controlled by the Americans.An Air Force U-2 spy plane captured direct photographic evidence of medium-range R-12 (NATO code name SS-4) and intermediate-range R-14 (NATO code name SS-5) ballistic missile sites, confirming the missile preparations. When President John F. Kennedy learned of this, he called a meeting of the National Security Council’s nine members and five other main advisors, which became known as the Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EXCOMM).From the start of the crisis, Kennedy and ExComm agreed that Soviet missiles in Cuba were unacceptably dangerous. The challenge they faced was to remove them without causing a larger conflict–and potentially a nuclear war. They came up with a number of choices during nearly a week of deliberations, including a bombing assault on missile sites and a full-scale invasion of Cuba. Kennedy, on the other hand, chose a more calculated approach. Second, he will enlist the support of the United States.
To prevent the Soviets from sending additional missiles and military equipment, the Navy would create a blockade, or quarantine, of the island. On October 22, after consulting with them, Kennedy ordered a naval blockade to prevent further missiles from reaching Cuba. The US declared that offensive weapons would not be shipped to Cuba, and that any weapons already on the island would be dismantled and returned to the Soviet Union.The president told Americans about the missiles’ existence in a television broadcast on October 22, 1962, justifying his decision to enforce the blockade and stressing that the US was prepared to use military force if necessary to neutralize this perceived threat to national security. People all over the world were waiting for the Soviet response after this public declaration. Fearing that their country was on the verge of nuclear war, some Americans stocked up on food and gas.On October 24, a key turning point in the crisis occurred when Soviet ships bound for Cuba breached the line of US vessels enforcing the blockade. A Soviet effort to break the blockade would almost certainly have resulted in a military conflict that could have easily escalated to a nuclear war. The Soviet ships, however, came to a halt just shy of the blockade. While the events at sea provided hope that war could be avoided, they did little to solve the issue of missiles already on Cuban soil. The tense standoff between the superpowers lasted all week, and on October 27, an American reconnaissance plane was shot down over Cuba, prompting the United States to prepare an invasion force in Florida. (The downed plane's 35-year-old pilot, Major Rudolf Anderson, is the only American combat victim of the Cuban missile crisis.) “I thought it was the last Saturday I would ever see,” remembered U.S.Kennedy and Khrushchev reached an agreement after several days of tense talks.
In exchange for a US public declaration and agreement not to attack Cuba again, the Soviets will dismantle their offensive arms in Cuba and return them to the Soviet Union, subject to UN verification. The US secretly decided to dismantle all of the Jupiter MRBMs that had been stationed in Turkey as a deterrent to the Soviet Union. There has been discussion on whether or not Italy should be included in the agreement.On November 20, the blockade was officially lifted after all offensive missiles and Ilyushin Il-28 light bombers were removed from Cuba.