War and Conflict

Cold War

What was the Cuban Missile Crisis?

The 1962 events, which happened very quickly, nevertheless constituted a major confrontation of the Cold War (1947–89). After the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, when the United States backed Cuban expatriates in an attempt to oust Fidel Castro (1926-), the Soviet Union quietly began building missile sites in Cuba. Since the island nation is situated just south of Florida, when U.S. reconnaissance flights detected the Soviet military construction projects there, it was an alarming discovery. On October 22, 1962, President John F. Kennedy (1917–1963) demanded that the Soviet Union withdraw its missiles from Cuba. Kennedy also ordered a naval blockade of the island. Six days later, the Soviets agreed to dismantle the sites, ending the crisis.


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