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The Cuban Missile Crisis The Making of a SuperpowerWhen someone mentions the Cuban Missile Crisis it normally evokes verystrong emotions in the hearts and minds of most Americans It is seen asone of the most dangerous times in American history where the idea ofmutually assured destruction truly became a reality especially for thosewho lived here in the Southern United States The whole Southeast coweredin fear as they found out that the Soviet Union had the ability toliterally wipe them off the face of the earth The United States reactionto this Soviet challenge showed that they were indeed a super power andstrengthened the argument for containment of Communism In order to trulyunderstand the crisis it is important to review what exactly went on fromthe U2 plane flight to the final declaration thirteen days later that themissiles would be removed It is details such as the decision to institutea blockade as opposed to other options the differences between public andprivate rhetoric and the responses to the Soviet vacillation on what termsthey would accept to settle this crisis are what truly tell the story ofthe Cuban Missile Crisis These types of things that changed theinternational climate and still shape the United States approach tointernational relations today The first key to understanding the Cuban Missile Crisis and its wide-ranging effects is understanding the time in history that this eventoccurred 1963 was almost in the middle of a period of intense hostilityand rivalry between the two superpowers1 This was truly the mostmemorable and direct meeting between the two superpowers during the ColdWar The one thing that the American people feared most was that FidelCastro would turn Cuba into a significant military outpost2 and thisappeared to be exactly what he was doing when he allowed to Soviets to moveMissiles into Cuba Khrushchev was taking a gamble that definitely deemedworthwhile because he definitely
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