The Cold War had been going on since the end of the Second World War.
Although America and Russia had been allies during the war against
Nazi Germany, their alliance had always been one of necessity. Now
that their common enemy had been defeated, they were able to focus
their attentions on each other. America was a democratic, capitalist
nation, and the Soviet Union was communist which meant that they were
on opposing sides of the spectrum. They were so strongly opposed that
peaceful co-existence was seen by all to be impossible.
America and Cuba had had a troubled relationship. Despite being
geographically close to America, Castro (leader of Cuba) chose to ally
himself with America’s enemy, the USSR.
Western Europe was as opposed to communism as America was, and so
European countries were very willing to do all they could to aid
America. The United States had missiles positioned in Turkey and
European nations also had weapons ready to be fired at the Soviets.
The Russians felt rightly threatened and desperately wanted an ally
closer to America. When America cut off aid to Cuba, the Soviets saw
their opportunity. In 1960 the USSR signed an agreement to buy
1,000,000 tonnes of Cuban sugar every year. This meant that the
Soviet Union were soon seen far more fondly than America was by both
Castro and the majority of the Cuban people.
When the Soviets decided to respond to the threat posed by Western
missiles throughout Europe by placing their own missiles close to
America, Cuba was the obvious location for those missiles. When the
USSR put their missiles in Cuba, America panicked and the Cuban
... middle of paper ...
...on the 27th adding the condition that
American missiles should also be removed from Turkey. This second
letter was officially from Khrushchev, but analysis has shown it to
have been written by someone else. President Kennedy knew that the
first offer was far more advantageous to America, but the second offer
was fairer. So the response of the White House was to publicly accept
the conditions of the first letter and privately accept the conditions
of the second.
Khrushchev knew that he had the option of forcing a public acceptance
of the second offer from Kennedy but chose instead to draw a line
under the incident, and withdraw the missiles from Cuba. This was
seen by many to be a victory for America, although the later
withdrawal of the American missiles from Turkey shows the nature of
the compromise reached.
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