It was October 15th, 1962, an Air Force pilot named Richard Heyser flew over Cuba and took several photos of Soviet Missiles. The Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had asked the Cuban president Fidel Castro if he could plant the missiles there in the May before. Two days later the photos are analyzed and showed that Cuba had medium, and long ranged missiles that could easily reach the U.S.A, after more analysis they estimated the missiles could travel over 2,200 miles. This whole event “The Cuban Missile Crisis” all took place during the Cold War, where America and the Soviet Union came very close to a nuclear war.
Four days after the 13 day scare originally occurred, Ex-Comm (Executive Committee of The National Security Council) a group of American political leaders, meet and suggest quarantining Cuba, they are careful not to call it a blockade however because a blockade is an act of war. Three days after, president Kennedy speaks out to the nation and is carried live on televisions across the U.S.A, to inform the Americans that there are missiles found armed in Cuba, pointed directly towards America. He also informs that he has ordered a Navy quarantine to surround Cuba and orders the Soviets to remove and disarm the Missiles.
As the debacle continues, now October 23rd, Soviet ships that are heading toward Cuba are halted. Khrushchev orders that the Soviet ships going to Cuba halt in the Atlantic Ocean close to America. This makes sure that they don’t meet with U.S. Navy ships that surrounded the Caribbean Sea. Later, Khrushchev refuses to remove the long-range missiles from Cuba, blaming Kennedy and accuses him of putting the world at a nuclear risk. President Kennedy making little to no progress with Khrushchev, Kennedy commands flights over Cuba to be double as often, and orders pilots to begin night shifts to monitor the Soviet missiles.
Concerned that the USSR might not dismantle the deadly close Missiles from Cuba, Ex-Comm begins to plan to invade Cuba and take control over and dismantle the Soviet missiles. This would likely result in a huge, and possibly nuclear war. Now October 27th Kennedy decides to not invade the Cuban territory, later that day Khrushchev speaks out to say that he will remove the deadly missiles from Cuban territory, if President Kennedy agrees to not invading. Now seemingly the war was ending, and the world went to bed in peace.
Thirteen days after October 15th Khrushchev has agreed to remove every missile under Soviet name in Cuba. Khrushchev speaks out on a radio station that the Soviet missiles will be dismantled and removed from Cuba, Cuba will not be invaded, and the crisis will come to an end. The world escaped nuclear war in October 1962 mostly because of the cautious nature of Kennedy and Khrushchev. A year later a telephone hotline was set up to sign a nuclear test ban between the two leaders.
You might be wondering how this whole catastrophe affected the locals, well after the crisis U.S. and Cuban relations where irreparably damaged. As well, relations between Cuba and the Soviet Union were on a shaky ground for some time after Khrushchev’s removal of the missiles. The affect it had on everyone was the two weeks of anxiety that a nuclear war could break out at any time. If it wasn’t to President Kennedy’s calm and cautious behavior the war could have ended very differently. Sadly, The Cuban Missile Crisis is a very relevant topic because of how it still affects us today, as there are abandoned missile silos in Cuba that remind us every day, of how close we came to a nuclear war.
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