The direct stimulant for the Cuban missile crisis, however, was due to the emergence of the Communist led regime of Cuba, by Fidel Castro. Wanting to prevent Castro from gaining too much power, President Kennedy, aided by the CIA attempted to take control of Cuba. This failure, known as the Bay of Pigs, only secured Castor’s as well as Scuba’s power. For fear of further attacks, the Soviet Union provided protection by way of nuclear weapons, for Cuba. This was the premises for the Cuban missile crisis during 1962.
The United States reached near destruction due to President Kennedy’s persistent effuse to tolerate Communism, and therefore, he can not be lauded for his success in ending the crisis which he himself started. Cuba had been a large assent for the United States throughout the sass, prior to President Eisenhower severing diplomatic relations with Cuba in the sass. 1 After Fidel Castro and his Revolutionaries took control of Cuba, they began to gain mass popularity and power which upset Government officials in the United States.
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Eisenhower developed a plan which the Kennedy Administration later followed through on, to overthrow Castro and his Communist Regime. In 1961 “the CIA drafted the invasion plan, which was eased on the assumption that a U. S. -led invasion would trigger a popular uprising of the Cuban people and bring down Castro. “2 Kennedy, a new and young President went along with the plan of sending 1 , 400 Cuban exiles who had been training for an invasion, into Cuba. On April 17, the invaders along with members of the CIA, penetrated Cuban boarders at the Bay of Pigs.
The plan backfired however, when Castor’s army defeated the captured the 1 , 400 invaders. It was later revealed that Kennedy had chosen to abandon the aid of Air Force coverage just before the attack was underway. The disaster may eve been prevented if Kennedy had given more support to the mission and investigated the situation in Cuba further before attacking. “As much as the United States tried to undermine Castro and his move to embrace Socialism in Cuba, the U. S. Efforts only managed to strengthen his grasp and increase the pace of his search for Soviet material assistance. 3 Similarly, “the incident presented Soviet premier Nikkei Khrushchev with the opportunity to realize an apparent validation of Russian’s nuclear credibility. “4 Hence it should have been no surprise to Kennedy that a retaliatory measure from Cuba and the Soviet Lion was in order. “Kennedy’s attitude toward Cuba after the Bay of Pigs fiasco became a matter of personal dignity and honor, almost a vendetta”5 which lead him to persist in the fight to end Castor’s rule in Cuba. With the help of Attorney General and brother, Robert F.
Kennedy, the President wished to seek new ways of restoring Americas confidence and getting rid of Castro. Several attempted assassinations of the Cuban leader failed, and ties with the Soviet Union worsened. Robert Kennedy reported that “on Tuesday morning, October 16, 1 962 shortly after 9:00 o’clock, President Kennedy called and asked me to come to the White House. He said only that we were facing great trouble…. He told me that a U-2 had just finished a photographic mission and that the Intelligence Community had become convinced that Russia was placing missiles and atomic weapons in Cuba. 6 This news shocked President Kennedy and other leaders Of the United States. To deal with the issue he arranged a special group of close advisors called Coxcomb (the Executive Committee of the National Security Council). The groups main objective was to find a way of removing the missiles in Cuba. General Taylor, a close aid to the President, “later characterized the choices: the U. S. Could Take them out’ through a military strike, њsqueeze them out’ through coercive pressure, or Cubby them out’ through a negotiated settlement. 7 Kennedy and his advisors weighed each option before making a decision. Prior to the discovery of missiles in Cuba, there had been several reports of suspicious activity in Cuba which the President seemed to ignore. In document 12: CIA Intelligence Memorandum, “Recent Soviet Military Aid to Cuba,” August 22, 1 962, there are several references to Soviet Aid in Cuba. One section reports that “as many as 20 Soviet vessels may have already arrived in Cuba since late July with military cargoes. 8 There are many similar declassified documents that show a buildup of military power in Cuba prior to the missile crisis. Why then did President Kennedy take so long to discover a major problem like the missile crisis, is a mystery. When the discovery was made, the first retaliatory measure was the issue of a blockade against Cuba. “Blockades, in international law, are clear acts of war. The Russians might well have challenged the American blockade of Cuba tit force”9 including the use of their disastrous missiles; but, luckily for Americans, this did not occur.
The blockade prevented ships or any other type of vessel from entering or leaving Cuba. On October 26, Khrushchev sent a message to Kennedy offering to make negotiations concerning the missiles. In return for their removal, the United States would have to guarantee never to attack or invade Cuba in the future. Later, the Soviets also demanded the removal of U. S. Missiles that were placed in Turkey for protection of the United States against the missiles in Cuba. Kennedy was elucidate to agree to these measures, which again could have caused the Soviets to set off the missiles.
The agreement was made and the missiles were removed from both areas; however, the public was not informed of some of the stipulations until years later. Kennedy feared of losing his tough image of not backing down, so he did not want the public to know about his negotiations. 10 It took thirteen days for the crisis to actually dissolve, yet almost forty years later and the situation has not died down. Until recently the official documents concerning the crisis were still under high security, and even now tit their release, new information is still being revealed to the public.
President Kennedy was so concerned with his image as a fierce young leader that he risked the lives of every family in the United States. Maps can easily prove that Cuba is less than 2,000 miles from at least seven major U. S. Cities including Washington D. C. And nuclear weapons were in place to take out these cities. The crisis never would have escalated to the level that it did, had Kennedy been more tolerant of outside powers. The Bay of Pigs disaster could have been prevented all together if Kennedy had not issued it, and caused Castro to seek Soviet aid.
Even with the Bay of Pigs mission launched, it could have been a success if Kennedy had provided sufficient support, again preventing the Cuban Missile Crisis from ever taking place. Due to Kennedy’s stubbornness, he was reluctant to see the obvious signs that an attack was brewing so close to home. He was too concerned with his image to admit he was wrong and only wanted to look good in the eyes of the American public. He was able to end the horrible debacle in the end, but it came after major Governmental spending and could have been prevented all together had Kennedy backed down early on in the sass.