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  • 1. LEARNING INTENTIONS • Explain why the USA and Cuba had a bad relationship • Describe what happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis
  • 2. Cuba is a small island in the Caribbean. It was also almost the scene of the start of a nuclear war which could have ended the world.
  • 3. In 1959 a revolution took place in Cuba. The US-supported government were replaced by a revolutionary group, led by Fidel Castro. These events hugely angered the USA.
  • 4. The new government took control of businesses in Cuba, including those owned by US companies. They also soon became Communist. The USA wanted to remove Castro and the Communists from power.
  • 5. The USA started off by banning any trade in weapons with Cuba. When this failed to make any difference they tried more violent methods.
  • 6. The US supported Cuban exiles to invade Cuba, landing at the Bay of Pigs. Castro however was ready for this and soon killed or arrested all those involved.
  • 7. After the Bay of Pigs disaster the US stopped buying Cuban sugar, which was essential to the Cuban economy. The Cubans responded by instead selling sugar to the Soviet Union. A new relationship was formed.
  • 8. Cuba also asked the Soviet Union for military protection. Given Cuba’s location in the world, the Soviet Union agreed to this. In 1962 they agreed to send nuclear weapons to Cuba.
  • 9. The USA found out and had two options to stop this: 1) Bomb the military bases on Cuba 2) Blockade (stop) Soviet ships landing at Cuba Either option could result in nuclear war.
  • 10. Both countries had their nuclear weapons on standby. The US President John F Kennedy considered launching an attack, as did the Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev. They both came within minutes of doing so.
  • 11. Fortunately the Soviet ships instead turned round. The USA had won a public relations victory. However they also reached a secret deal with the Soviets to remove American nuclear weapons from Turkey.
  • 12. Both sides had been shocked by how close they came to nuclear war. After the Crisis they set up a ‘hotline’ between Washington and Moscow so leaders could talk direct. Also in 1963 they agreed a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.