Cuban Missile Crisis Student Materials.docx - Textbook...

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Textbook Passage After the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Soviet Union gave Cuba more weapons. In October 1962, President Kennedy learned that the Soviets were secretly building missile bases on the island. If the bases were completed, atomic missiles could reach American cities within minutes. Kennedy announced that American warships would stop any Soviet ship carrying missiles. The world waited tensely as Soviet ships steamed toward Cuba. At the last minute, the Soviet ships turned back. “We’re eyeball to eyeball,” said Secretary of State Dean Rusk, “and I think the other fellow just blinked.” Kennedy’s strong stand led the Soviets to compromise. Khrushchev agreed to remove Soviet missiles from Cuba. In turn, the United States promised not to invade the island. Still the Cuban missile crisis had shaken both American and Soviet officials. In all the years of the Cold War, the world never came closer to a full-scale nuclear war. Source: The American Nation , Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2003, p. 823. Cuban Missile Crisis
Document A: Letter From Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy (Modified) Moscow, October 27, 1962. DEAR MR. PRESIDENT, I understand your concern for the security of the United States… You wish to ensure the security of your country, and this is understandable. But Cuba, too, wants the same thing; all countries want to maintain their security. But how are we, the Soviet Union, to [understand] the fact that you have surrounded the Soviet Union with military bases; surrounded our allies with military bases; placed military bases literally around our country; and stationed your missile armaments there? This is no secret. . . .Your missiles are located in Britain, are located in Italy, and are aimed against us. Your missiles are located in Turkey. You are disturbed over Cuba. You say that this disturbs you because it is 90 miles by sea from the coast of the United States of America. But you have placed destructive missile weapons, which you call offensive, in Turkey, literally next to us. I therefore make this proposal: We are willing to remove from Cuba the [missiles] which you regard as offensive. Your representatives will make a declaration to the effect that the United States, for its part, . . . will remove its [missiles] from Turkey. We, in making this pledge, will promise not to invade Turkey. . .The United States Government will promise not to invade Cuba . . . The greatest joy for all peoples would be the announcement of our agreement.

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