Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation between the United States, the Soviet Union, and Cuba in October 1962, during the Cold War.

In Russia, it is termed the "Caribbean Crisis" (Russian: Карибский кризис, Karibskiy krizis), while in Cuba it is called the "October Crisis." The Cuban and Soviet governments decided in September 1962 to place nuclear missiles on Cuba in order to protect it from United States harassment. When United States intelligence discovered the weapons its government decided to do all they could to ensure the removal of them. The crisis ranks with the Berlin Blockade as one of the major confrontations of the Cold War, and is generally regarded as the moment in which the Cold War came closest to a nuclear war.

The Cuban missile crisis and its aftermath was the most serious U.S.-Soviet confrontation of the Cold War Although the crisis itself was short, it was so intense that it absorbed the entire attention of President Kennedy and his closest advisers. The Cuban missile crisis, the "sixteen days in October," ending with the Kennedy-Khrushchev "agreement" of October 28, 1962, has been studied extensively by scholars and has been described in a variety of published works.

According to Nikita Khrushchev's memoirs, in May 1962 he conceived the idea of placing intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Cuba as a means of countering an emerging lead of the United States in developing and deploying strategic missiles. He also presented the scheme as a means of protecting Cuba from another United States-sponsored invasion, such as the failed attempt at the Bay of Pigs in 1961. After obtaining Fidel Castro's approval, the Soviet Union worked quickly and secretly to build missile installations in Cuba.