The Justification of the Soviet Union Putting Missiles in Cuba

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The Justification of the Soviet Union Putting Missiles in Cuba

It was at the peak of the arms race between the Soviets and USA when

the Cuban missile crisis unfolded. Before 1962, each country was doing

its best to outdo the other in terms of weapons, bombs and space


So when the Cuban missile crisis occurred, both countries wanted to

show that they were more powerful and would not back down. To

understand why the soviets put missiles in Cuba we need to know

Khrushchev’s position in the Soviet Union. Khrushchev’s famous

de-Stalinization speech criticizing Stalin’s policies was not very

popular at the time as many people still respected Stalin after his

death. Also, Khrushchev had left himself open to attacks by

revisionists because of his policy on peaceful co-existence. He needed

to show the communist world that he was ready to take action against

the west. Khrushchev’s bond with Cuban leader Fidel Castro made him

feel that he had an obligation to help the Cuban revolution by putting

missiles in Cuba.

It was certain though; by placing missiles on Cuba that Khrushchev

would have the upper hand in negotiations relating to the cold war.

Also Khrushchev claimed that ‘the missiles were placed merely to deter

the Americans from invading Cuba’. (Timewatch Missile - Crisis)

Khrushchev’s decision to put Soviet missiles in Cuba was very

important and crucial to America. Cuba was only 90 miles away from the

USA, and the Americans did not like the idea of a pro communist state

in its ‘sphere of influence’ (Gcse modern world history). More than

military advantage for the Soviets who had missiles elsewhere which


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Kennedy, Robert. 1969. Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile

Crisis. New American Library. New York

Khrushchev, Nikita. 1970. Khrushchev Remembers. Little Brown & Company.


Lowe, Norman. 1988. Mastering Modern World History. Macmillan Master

Series. London.

Walsh, Ben. 1996. Gcse modern world history. John Murray. London.

Weisbrot, Robert. 2002. Maximum Danger: Kennedy, the Missiles, and the

Crisis of American Confidence. Ivan R. Dee Publisher. Chicago
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