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Many agree that the Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest the world evercame to nuclear war but exactly how close did it come The Crisis wasultimately a showdown between the United States and the Soviet Union fromOctober 16 to October 28 1962 During those thirteen stressful days theworlds two biggest superpowers stood on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe The Crisis started as a result of both the Soviet Unions fear of losing thearms race and Cubas fear of US invasion The Soviet Premier NikitaKhrushchev thought that both problems could easily be solved by placingSoviet medium range missiles in Cuba This deployment would double theSoviet arsenal and protect Cuba from US invasion Khrushchev proposed thisidea to Cuban Premier Fidel Castro who like Khrushchev saw the strategicadvantage The two premiers worked together in secrecy throughout thelate-summer and early-fall of 1962 The Soviets shipped sixty medium-rangeballistic missiles MRBMs along with their warheads launch equipment andnecessary operating personnel to Cuba When United States President JohnF Kennedy discovered the presence of these offensive weapons heimmediately organized EX-COMM a group of his twelve most importantadvisors They spent the next couple of days discussing different possibleplans of action and finally decided to remove the US missiles from Turkeyand promise not to invade Cuba in exchange for the removal of all offensiveweapons in Cuba On October 28 Khrushchev sent Kennedy a letter statingthat he agreed to the terms Kennedy stated and the crisis ended The Cuban Missile Crisis can be blamed on the insecurity of Cuba andthe Soviet Union After the United States unsuccessful attempt to overthrowCastro and end communism in Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in 1961 Castro wasfearful of another US invasion The US Armed Forces conducted a mockinvasion and drafted a plan to invade Cuba to keep Castro nervous As aresult Castro thought the US was serious and he was desperate to findprotection This protection came in the form of sixty Soviet medium-rangeballistic missiles Detzer 30-32 39 55
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