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Cuban Missile Crisis

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1) Why was the U.S. worried by Soviet missiles in Cuba?

Cuba is located very close to Florida, only about 90 miles away so placing the Soviet missiles within 100 miles of the U.S. coastline had to be considered extremely dangerous, almost leading the nuclear war. The U.S. worried that since Castro working with the Russians as an aggressive militarist had gained much power in the late 50s and early 60s in the Soviet Union, there might have been a high possibility that he would use the missiles with the blessing of the Russians once the missiles were located in Cuba.

2) What was the significance of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

The most important significance of the Cuban Missile Crisis is that it was the closest that the world ever came to the nuclear war, where the U.S. armed forces were at the highest state of readiness ever and Soviet Union filed commanders in Cuba were prepared to use nuclear weapons if the island were invaded. The ultimate significance of this crisis is that the Soviet Union finally pulled their missiles out of Cuba when US promised not to invade Cuba, and the U.S. also pulled missiles out of Turkey and Italy.

3) Why did Kennedy and Khrushchev communicate through letters and not via other forms of communication, i.e. the telephone?

They had to rely on had carried channels of communication such as a letter since they had no faxes, no e-mail, no top secret telephone lines to between two countries, and no computers or internet like we have today. If they communicated through normal telephone line, the other countries could have tapped them secretly. Although the letters were both risky and slow to communicate, by the chance of communicating through letters, the U.S. could have luckily benefited from the opportunity to take some considerable time, instead of responding immediately, to choose between two offers the Soviet Union had sent. However, after the end of the crisis, the two countries created the top secret phone line due to the frustration of slow communication during the crisis.

4) What was the problem for the President Kennedy?

Many applauded the President Kennedy for standing up to the Soviet Union and preventing the world from nuclear war during Cuban Missiles Crisis. Most people admire Kennedy's restraint in ruling out the options of air strike against the missile bases or a military invasion of Cuba. However, some critics say that his disastrous attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro during the Bay of Pigs invasion embarrassed the White House and alienated Cuba. Also they have blamed Kennedy for the missile crisis developing in the first place and claimed that the president made an enemy of Cuba and presented a weak, inexperienced image that encouraged the Soviet Union to take advantage.

5) Why



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