The Foreign Policy Crisis Continues…
John F. Kennedy
• Fiasco at the Bay of Pigs
• Berlin Wall
• Cuban Missile Crisis
Crisis in Cuba
Bay of Pigs
and the Cuban Missile Crisis
Bay of Pigs
• Fidel Castro
- Leads communist revolt in Cuba
and Cuba falls to communism
- Supported by the Soviet Union
• U.S. Invasion
- Using CIA instructors, the US
secretly began training anti-Castro
Cubans to invade Cuba
- April 17, 1961:
Bay of Pigs
Effects of the ‘Fiasco’ at the Bay of Pigs
• Castro anticipated attack and killed
several exiles and held others captive
• The failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion
was a tremendous embarrassment for
JFK and the United States
• Kennedy takes responsibility, vowing
never to appear ‘weak’ on Communism
Why would a communist takeover in Cuba be
such a huge threat to America?
(Hint: think geography)
The wall was a
mass of concrete,
• Wall that Khrushchev built to prevent Eastern Berliners
from fleeing to Western Berlin
• Stood as a grim symbol of the Communist East and the non-
Communist West until it fell in 1989 (signals end of C.W.)
On June 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy delivered a
speech that electrified an adoring crowd gathered in the
shadow of the Berlin Wall. As he paid tribute to the spirit of
Berliners and to their quest
for freedom, the crowd
roared with approval upon
hearing the President's
quot;Ich bin ein Berlinerquot;
(I am a Berliner).
29 October 1962.
THE WORLD ON THE BRINK:
JOHN F. KENNEDY AND
THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS!
Cuban Missile Crisis Evaluation
• It is Oct 14th, 1962 and U.S. spy planes have just located
nuclear missile silos in Cuba. It is known that the Soviet
Union is behind the placement of these missiles. With
nuclear missiles on Cuba, America is not safe. President
Kennedy must decide how to deal with this situation. It is
important that America appear strong, especially after the
embarrassment at the Bay of Pigs
• President Kennedy has assembled a group of the finest
military and political advisors in America. This group is
secretly referred to as EXCOMM. These men will be
responsible for presenting solutions to the President, but
it ultimately Kennedy’s decision how to handle Cuba.
• You are a member of EXCOMM and as such you must
evaluate each suggested plan and decide what action to
recommend to the President.
A Shopping List of Strategies…
• Take no action
• Pursue diplomacy—Negotiate with Cuba and
the Soviets to remove the missiles
• Blockade—Institute a naval quarantine
around the island, preventing the arrival of
Soviet ships carrying materials necessary to
make the missiles operational (combination of
military and diplomatic responses)
• Airstrike and Invade—launch an air strike
followed by an invasion to destroy the missile
sites (Pearl Harbor? Bay of pigs? anyone?!)
Cuban Missile Crisis
• While applying diplomatic pressure, JFK
decides to establish a naval quarantine of
– This was a “ring of ships” around Cuba … but JFK
did not call it a BLOCKADE!
• “Brinkmanship” go to the brink of war
– “Put the ball in Khrushchev's Court”
– Failed cooperation by the U.S.S.R. would
• Both US and Russian officials were
DESPERATE to find a way to prevent guys.
No, you back
• Khrushchev offered to remove the
missiles in return for an American pledge
not to invade Cuba.
• President Kennedy agreed and the crisis
Legacy of the CMC
For thirteen days in October of 1962
the world waited, hoping for a
peaceful resolution to the
Cuban Missile Crisis.
During this time, we came closer to
nuclear war than we have ever come
• Fidel Castro rose to power in Cuba on the promise of
democracy but declared himself Communist after he
took control of the government; many Cuban exiles and
Americans blamed Kennedy for “losing” Cuba.
• The failed Bay of Pigs invasion embarrassed the U.S.
and enhanced Castro’s stature in Cuba.
• The Berlin Wall stemmed the flow of East German
refugees but aggravated Cold War tensions.
• The United States and the Soviet Union came to the
brink of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis;
Kennedy and his administration’s decision to blockade
the island while secretly negotiating with the Soviets
helped to prevent war from occurring.
• Assume you are a newspaper reporter.
Provide a front-page story for one of the
three headlines listed below.
• Be sure to write in historical present as
you establish the event’s significance and
FYI - Countries With Nuclear Weapons (2008)
USA Russia United Kingdom France
China India Pakistan Israel (?)