Thirteen Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis

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For thirteen days, the United States held its breath, fearing the ultimate destruction

of the nation by nuclear weapons. This was the Cuban missile crisis, a struggle fought

between the world's two largest superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union,

which nearly provoked a nuclear catastrophe on both sides from October 16, to October

28, in 1962. This crisis had been brewing for many years and was sparked by previous

issues between the two nations. The United States had been at odds with Communist

ideals for many years beginning with the onset of the Cold War. The direct stimulant for

the Cuban missile crisis, however, was due to the emergence of the Communist led regime

of Cuba, by Fidel Castro. Wanting to prevent Castro from gaining too much power,

President Kennedy, aided by the CIA, attempted to take control of Cuba. This failure,

known as the Bay of Pigs, only secured Castro's as well as Cuba's power. For fear of

further attacks, the Soviet Union provided protection by way of nuclear weapons, for

Cuba. This was the premises for the Cuban missile crisis during 1962. The United States

reached near destruction due to President Kennedy's persistent refusal to tolerate

Communism, and therefore, he can not be lauded for his success in ending the crisis which

he himself started.

Cuba had been a large assent for the United States throughout the 1950s, prior to

President Eisenhower severing diplomatic relations with Cuba in the 1960s.1 After Fidel

Castro and his Revolutionaries took control of Cuba, they began to gain mass popularity

and power which upset Government officials in the United States. Eisenhower developed

a plan which the Kennedy Administration later followed through on, to overthr...

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The crisis never would have escalated to the level that it did, had Kennedy been more

tolerant of outside powers. The Bay of Pigs disaster could have been prevented all

together if Kennedy had not issued it, and caused Castro to seek Soviet aid. Even with

the Bay of Pigs mission launched, it could have been a success if Kennedy had provided

sufficient support, again preventing the Cuban Missile Crisis from ever taking place. Due

to Kennedy's stubbornness, he was reluctant to see the obvious signs that an attack was

brewing so close to home. He was too concerned with his image to admit he was wrong

and only wanted to look good in the eyes of the American public. He was able to end the

horrible debacle in the end, but it came after major Governmental spending and could have

been prevented all together had Kennedy backed down early on in the 1960s.

In this essay, the author

  • Describes the cuban missile crisis, a struggle fought against nuclear weapons.
  • Explains that the 1962 crisis had been brewing for many years and was sparked by previous crises.
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