Introduction90 miles of the coast of Florida lies the countryof Cuba, and in October of 1962 The UnitedStates found proof that the country was buildingseveral nuclear missile basis. The Soviet Unionwere helping to supply Cuba with these missiles. This left most of the continental U.S. susceptible to a nuclear attack.
United States and Soviet Relations The U.S. and the Soviet Union had a “superpower” rivalry that had manly to do with their different political systems. The United states had a federal constitutional republic, where the President, Congress, and judiciary power share powers reserved to national government. The federal government shares sovereignty with state government. The Soviet Union ran under a communist system, where there is a single- party ruler. Although the two countries allied during the second world war; they were driven apart by the race for nuclear and missile arms race.
U.S. and Soviet Relations contd. The Soviet felt threatened by the presence of United State missiles located in Turkey, only 150 miles from the Soviet Union.
United States and CubaAt the time Cuba was running under aCommunist system, and their leader wasFidel Castro.The United States tried to invade Cuba inoperations such as ‘The Bay of Pigs.’ The United states also banned Cuban products from coming into the united states
The Soviet Union and CubaThe Cuban leader Fidel Castro turned to TheSoviet Union for protection from the Unitedstates, because they felt that the U.S. wouldinvade. Both Countries had a communist government; something the United States did not like.With the Cuba on their side The Soviet Unionhad the perfect place to store nuclear missiles.
Gathering The InformationThe information aboutthe missiles was foundon October 14, 1962while a United StatesAir Force were on aphotoreconnaissancemission. Photoreconnaissance are missions that are used to gather information on an enemy; wether it be during peacetime or war.
Preparing for Imminent DangerAfter thisinformation wasfound The U.S.was at its higheststate of readiness.Cuba wasauthorized to usetactical nucleardefense, if anyU.S. forces triedto invade thecountry.
The Executive CommitteeOnce the news of missiles made it to thepresident at the time, John F. Kennedy, he calledthe EX-COMM together. The EX-COMM was a committee that Kennedy created, and it contained 19 men that helped kennedy through the crisis. They worked to ﬁnd the best course of action The committee was made up of the best and the brightest men in the United States. They feared that no matter what course of action they took they would meet retaliation.
Developing a PlanPresident Kennedy continued with Campaigntrips to maintain secrecy.He did meet with The Soviet Union ForeignMinister, Andrie Gromyko. Kennedy told Gromyko that The United States would not tolerate nuclear weapons in Cuba; Gromyko denied that The Soviet Union had anything of that nature on the island.
A Plan of “Attack”Kennedy returned toD.C. and again metwith the EX-COMMand went over ideas toget rid of the missiles incuba. His original idea was for the United States Air Force to take out the missiles, but after ﬁnding out that would mean 10 to 20,000 military and civilian casualties he vetoed the plan. The committee decided to set up a blockade around Cuba.
Soviets First Retreat On Wednesday, October 24 Soviet ships went out and when they met up with where the U.S. blockade ships were stationed they turned around. But the crisis wasn’t over..... The next day the U.S. alert was raised to DEFCON 2 (the highest in U.S. history.) The United States was prepared to launch an attack on the Soviet Union or Cuba at a moments notice
The Crisis Ends?By Friday, October 26 EX-COMM received aletter from Soviet leader Khrushchev that statedif the U.S. promised never to invade Cuba, thatthe Soviets would remove their missiles fromCuba. But after another photoreconnaissance mission the United States found that the Soviets were only camouﬂaging the missiles.
Height Of The CrisisThe next day an American plane was shot downwhen it mistakenly ﬂew over Russia.Another plane was then shot down whenattempting to take pictures of Cuba. The orders to shoot down this plane did not come from Moscow, and Khrushchev was worried that with poor communication similar incidents could happen again.
Crisis ResolvedBy Sunday of that week Khrushchev, overMoscow radio, announced that the Soviet Unionwould dismantle their nuclear missiles in Cuba. Khrushchev did not demand anything more from the U.S. other than them not invading Cuba, because he did not demand more and backed down his career was ruined.