The Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missile Crisis - Kersten Zielinski CMC Paper HIST...

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Kersten Zielinski CMC Paper HIST 100C MW 8:30-9:50 December 3, 2007 The Cuban Missile Crisis The Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 was the closest the world has ever come to a nuclear annihilation. It was a major confrontation between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The Soviet Union had installed nuclear missiles on the island of Cuba, a mere 90 miles off the coast of the United States. U.S. armed forces were at their highest state of readiness, and Soviet field commanders in Cuba were authorized to use tactical nuclear weapons if invaded by the U.S. The fate of millions literally hinged upon the ability of two men, President John F. Kennedy and Premier Nikita Khrushchev, to come to an agreement. Everybody seemed to think that Cuba would eventually become part of the United States. Slavery became a major obstacle in seeing this happen though. If the United States were to annex Cuba, is would disrupt the delicate balance between free states and slave states. American forces continued to occupy Cuba until 1902, withdrawing only after Cuban leaders agreed to authorize future American intervention by incorporating into the Cuban constitution the Platt Amendment. The Platt Amendment gave the United States the right to intervene under certain circumstances and required Cuba to lease or sell lands for American coaling stations or naval bases. Until 1959, Cuba seemed to be little more than an American protectorate. In the eyes of Cubans, America genuinely looked like a colonial master. Many Americans felt that they had done Cuba a favor by liberating it from Spain and keeping it from sliding into anarchy and destruction. The American’s attitude sparked severe outrage from Cubans. When Fidel Castro was planning to overtake Cuba, he made sure to appeal to Americans by appearing anti-Communist. Once Castro succeeded in overtaking Fulgencio Batista’s regime, His first goal was to reduce American influence in Cuba, which resulted in alienating the United States. The American’s anger and suspicion pushed Castro closer to Moscow. On December
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19, Castro proclaimed Cuba’s full solidarity with the socialist bloc. As one of his last acts as president, Eisenhower severed diplomatic relations with Cuba. The Cold War was the period between World War II and the collapse of the Soviet Union (roughly 1946 to 1991). It was the result of a clash between the different values and visions of the United States and the Soviet Union: The United States stood for liberal democracy and market
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The Cuban Missile Crisis - Kersten Zielinski CMC Paper HIST...

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