Fidel Castro Writes Letter to Khruschev in which he Urges the Soviet Union to Attack the US if it Invades Cuba
I would like to briefly express my own personal opinion.
If [an invasion of Cuba] takes place and the imperialists invade Cuba with the aim of occupying it, the dangers of their aggressive policy are so great that after such an invasion the Soviet Union must never allow circumstances in which the imperialists could carry out a nuclear first strike against it.”— Fidel Castro
The practical effect of this Kennedy-Khrushchev Pact was that it effectively strengthened Castro's position in Cuba in that he would not be invaded by the United States. It is possible that Khrushchev only placed the missiles in Cuba to get Kennedy to remove the missiles from Turkey and that the Soviets had no intention of resorting to nuclear war if they were out-gunned by the Americans. However, because the withdrawals from Turkey were not made public at the time, Khrushchev appeared to have lost the conflict and become weakened. The perception was that Kennedy had won the contest between the superpowers and Khrushchev had been humiliated. However, this is not entirely the case as both Kennedy and Khrushchev took every step to avoid full conflict despite the pressures of their governments. Khrushchev held power for another two years.