What is the Cuban Missile Crisis?

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jun 15, 2022, 14:28

The Cuban Missile Crisis was a significant conflict between the United States of America and the Soviet Union. The hostilities between these nations were highlighted in the early 1960s when Soviet tactical nuke warheads were deployed in Cuba.

History of the Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, or the Cuban Missile Crisis, was a 35-day standoff between the United States of America and the Soviet Union that transformed into an international crisis when Soviet missile deployments in Cuba encountered American deployed warheads in Italy and Turkey.

The standoff is often considered the closest to the Cold War ever becoming a hazardous nuclear war.

Significance of Cuban Missile Crisis

During the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis was a severe and hazardous conflict between the US and the Soviet Union. It was the nearest the two superpowers got to nuclear war.

The situation was unusual in several aspects, including estimates and misjudgments, as well as direct and covert interactions and miscommunications between the two parties. The Cuban Missile Crisis was the pinnacle of a taut time in US-Soviet relations.

It contributed significantly to Nikita Khrushchev's demise and the Soviet Union's ambition to attain nuclear parity with the United States.

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Cuban Missile Crisis - Timeline of Events

  1. Post World War II (1945), the globe was split into two power centres and political functions. Superpower countries on both sides, the United States and the Soviet Union, engaged in a passive confrontation.
  2. In May 1960, the Soviet Union pledged to protect Cuba with Soviet weapons. Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader, ordered the Soviet's advanced and medium-range missile systems to be stationed in Cuba.
  3. In July 1962, the United States of America discovered that the Soviet Union had begun sending missile shipments to Cuba.
  4. On August 29, Soviet technicians and new military constructions were confirmed. On October 14, October 14ence of a ballistic missile on a launching site in Cuba was discovered.
  5. On October 22, John F. Kennedy decided to impose a naval "lockdown," or blockade, on Cuba to prevent additional Soviet warhead supplies. As a result, Soviet ships en route to Cuba changed their course to avoid the lockdown zone.
  6. The Soviet Union notified Kennedy on October 28 that development on the missile launch sites would be suspended and that the warheads in Cuba would be transferred back to the Soviet Union.
  7. As a reciprocating measure, Kennedy promised that the US would not attack Cuba. He secretly vowed to remove the nuclear-capable missiles deployed in Turkey in past years.
  8. By late November, both countries had begun to follow through on their commitments, and the crisis had been avoided.

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The Aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis

  1. President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the President of Cuba, blamed the fiasco on the USA.
  2. Fidel Alejandro Castro was a Cuban political figure. Fidel Castro was dismayed by the Soviet Union's withdrawal during the US threat, but he could not do anything about it. From 1959 to 1976, Fidel Castro served as Prime Minister of Cuba and then as President from 1976 until 2008.
  3. One of the crises' results was the downfall of Nikita Khrushchev. The Cuban Missile Crisis also convinced Kennedy of the dangers of nuclear brinkmanship on the global level.
  4. A Moscow-Washington hotline was set up to prevent future crises by facilitating transparent communication between the leaders of the Soviet Union and the United States.
  5. Post-Cuban Missile Crisis, The Soviet Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom signed a pact prohibiting aerial and undersea nuclear testing in August 1963.
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FAQs on the Cuban Missile Crisis

Q1. When did the Cuban Missile Crisis end?

The Cuban Missile Crisis ended on October 28.

Q2. Was the President of the USA during the Cuban Missile Crisis?

John F. Kennedy was the President of the USA during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Q3. When did Fidel Castro become the President of Cuba?

Fidel Castro became the President of Cuba in 1976 after the Cuban Missile Crisis ended.

Q4. When did the Cuban Missile Crisis start?

The Cuban Missile Crisis started on October 16.