Contemporary World Politics
In April 1961, the leaders of theUnion of Soviet Socialist Republics(USSR) were worried that theUnited States of America (USA) would invade communist-ruledCuba and overthrow Fidel Castro,the president of the small islandnation off the coast of the UnitedStates. Cuba was an ally of theSoviet Union and received bothdiplomatic and financial aid fromit. Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union, decided toconvert Cuba into a Russian base.In 1962, he placed nuclear missilesin Cuba. The installation of these weapons put the US, for the first time, under fire from close rangeand nearly doubled the number of bases or cities in the Americanmainland which could bethreatened by the USSR. Three weeks after the Soviet Union had placed the nuclear weapons in Cuba, the Americans became aware of it. The USPresident, John F. Kennedy, andhis advisers were reluctant to doanything that might lead tofull-scale nuclear war betweenthe two countries, but they weredetermined to get Khrushchev toremove the missiles and nuclear weapons from Cuba. Kennedy ordered American warships tointercept any Soviet shipsheading to Cuba as a way of warning the USSR of hisseriousness. A clash seemedimminent in what came to beknown as the Cuban MissileCrisis. The prospects of this
We are on a world tour! Will meet you in different countries. Feels goodto be around where events have happened.
Map showing the range of the nuclear missiles under construction in Cuba, used during the secret meetings on the Cuban missile crisis Source: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum