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Third Quarterly Exam, OPVL

Nikita Khrushchev, the Cuban


Missile Crisis, and the Aftermath
Jason K. Roeschley

Charles Gillett
IB US History 11
Mr Maschio
Period 6
Word Count: 618

Origin

This document is retrospective essay regarding the events of October 1962. Therefore
this is a secondary source. It was written by a Jason Roeschely, who is an Illinois Wesleyan
University Fulbright Scholar majoring in Hispanic Studies. This was written in 2011, when
Roeschley was a Senior at IWU. It is a part of a larger collection entitled Constructing the Past.

Purpose

This document exists to add to the narrative of the Cuban Missile Crisis with respect to
Khrushchevs involvement. Roeschley states that he is trying to explore Khrushchevs role in
the Crisis and to discuss its effects. Roeschley presents the events of the Crisis always while
paying close attention to Khrushchevs responses. This creates in a sense a diametric account
of the Crisis from the progression of Khrushchevs responses and actions. In addition to Cuba
and the US, in this essay, Roeschley talks about the relationship that the Soviet Union has with
China over the coarse of the Crisis. Hence, one can establish that Roeschley is providing insight
from many nations on the Cuban Missile Crisis to form a more complete historical portrayal.

Value

This document is valuable as a historical perspective because Roeschley is able to


compile the accounts of the Cuban Missile Crisis from the Soviet Union, the US, , the UK, Cuba
and the China through one focal point: Nikita Khrushchev. The conclusion the Roeschley makes
it valuable for this reason comes at the end of the penultimate paragraph where he suggest,
The crisis perhaps provided a more realistic grasp of what nuclear war would mean to Soviet
and American policy-makers, which produced a strong resolve to avoid it. (Roeschley, IWU)
Here he propounds that this Cold War event was not only important but also positively so
because it resulted in an awareness of the negative effects that nuclear war can have and a
reluctance to initial such attacks. It is obvious and accepted that neither the US nor Cuba was
seeking confrontation, however, it is just as obvious that mistakes were made on both parties
accounts that could have caused total devastation, thus changing the worlds attitude toward
the whole concept of deterrence (Hilsman, The Struggle over Policy). This document realises
that the Cuban Missile Crisis set an invaluable precedent regarding nuclear warfare that saved
many lives from nuclear warfare.

Limitation

This document is subject to limitation because it is a small entry in a larger historical text
and therefore might not be as thoroughly researched as a source that is exclusively about the
Cuban Missile Crisis. However, this essay does not discuss the negative social, economic and
political effects that the Crisis had on the Cuban people. The trade embargo placed on Cuba
during the Crisis remains to this day, as well as the travel ban and Cubas presence on the US
State Departments list of state sponsors of terrorism. Such isolation has severely hindered
Cubas growth politically, economically and socially.
Politically, the Cuban regimes policy of using those measures as a scapegoat for the
impoverished islands economic blunders and as an excuse for the repression of political
rights (Padgett, Time). Economically, Cubas access to international banking services has been
limited and Cuba has been unable to develop a healthy presence in the global market.
Consequently, the majority of Cubans live in overwhelming poverty and with limited
opportunities. Socially, Cubas decency in the eyes of the American people has been tarnished
due to its listing as a sponsor of terrorism due to the association with that lists other
constituents, such as Sudan Syria and Iran (Hirschfeld Davis, NYTimes). The omission of such
information in Roeschleys report makes it suggest that the awareness of the danger of nuclear
war came at no cost.

Bibliography

Davis, Julie Hirschfeld. "Obama Takes His Hopes for Cuba to Summit Meeting."
The New York Times (New York), April 8, 2015, Americas. http://www.nytimes.com/
2015/04/09/world/latin-america-trip-will-test-obamas-push-for-ties-with-cuba.html.

Hatch, Rachel. "Senior Wins Fulbright Grant." Illinois Wesleyan University. Last
modified April 19, 2011. https://www.iwu.edu/news/
2011/fea_FulbrightRoeschley_00411.html.

Hilsman, Roger. The Significance. Vol. 9 of The Cuban Missile Crisis: The
Struggle over Policy. N.p.: n.p., 1996.

Padgett, Tim. "The Cuban Missile Crisis at 50: America and Cuba Still Frozen in
1962." Time, October 17, 2012.

Roeschley, Jason K. "Nikita Khrushchev, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Aftermath"
Constructing the Past: Vol. 12: Iss. 1, Article 12. http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/
constructing/vol12/iss1/12