Written By OSAMA TABASAM
Background of Cuban missile Crisis:
Cuba was first under the control of Spain before 1899. On 1st Jan 1899, Cuban control passed from Spain to the United States. As the US defeated Spain in the Spanish-American war in 1899. From that time the USA had full control over Cuba and the US was continuously investing in the development of Cuba. Cuban market was quite attractive for many products like Tobacco, sugar, coffee, etc. American companies had a hold on Cuba for a long time. The US was also intervening in Cuba’s internal affairs. Contrary, Cuban citizens were against this act of the US. As they have a revolutionary instinct in them.
People of Cuba start a revolution against the government of Cuba. The Cuban government was a puppet government run by the US. That government was in favor of Capitalism. This was a time when a young revolutionist named Fidel Castro, who was a Marxist by ideology and lawyer by profession, launched a failed attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1953. This was done to overthrow the government of Cuba. The Cuban government was led by General Fulgencio Batista.
Castro was imprisoned and after one year of imprisonment, he moved to Mexico. Moreover, in Mexico, he met with Che Guevara. Che Guevara was a Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, military theorist.
Fidel Castro with his brother Raul Castro and Che Guevara formed a revolutionary group named “26th July movement”. They return to Cuba; Castro took a key role in revolution by leading the movement in the Guerilla war against Batista’s forces. They had the number of attacks and finally overthrow Batista in 1959.
Castro was selected as a Prime Minister of Cuba. He governs the Republic of Cuba from 1950 to 1976. Cuba became a one-party communist state under his administration. Moreover, industries and businesses were nationalized. Socialist policies were implemented throughout the society. He started diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. As he was a Marxist and believe on Communism.
Bay of Pigs Invasion
To overthrow Castro America invaded Cuba from the north through her military and Cuban exiles sponsored by CIA. Brigade 2506 attempted an invasion on 17th Aril, 1961. As they were failed in this attempt and that last three days. These Cuban exiles were those to fled to the US after Castro overthrow Batista. That act develops a positive stance for the Soviet Union to help them from that invasion in the future. In 1960, Eisenhower allocated $13 million to the CIA to overthrow Castro. Contrary, this failed invasion made Castro’s position strong and he was considered as a hero of Cuba. Due to this, Castro developed a strong relationship with the Soviet Union.
Cuban Missile Crisis:
Cuban missile crisis is called be the deadliest event in the history of the Cold war. As this was the confrontation of both the superpower for the first time. The world was at the edge of Nuclear war. The Soviet Union was deploying nuclear missiles in Cuba. They want to deploy their missiles secretly. But American spy plane U2 took photographs of the construction site of Cuba and they get knowledge about the Soviet Union missiles.
Why Soviet Union place missiles in Cuba?
First, the USA had also deployed his nuclear missiles in UK, Italy, and Turkey. Turkey was near to the Soviet Union and it threatens Soviet Union more than UK and Italy. The USA has 60 missiles in the UK, 30 in Italy and 15 in Turkey.
Second, there was no other strategic location through where Soviet Union can directly attack the USA. To make balance and to overcome that threat she deployed missiles in Cuba.
Third, to help Cuba and Cuban people who saw the US as a threat as they have done as Bay of Pig invasion.
Fourth, Russian leader Khrushchev balanced the field, if the US attack Russia than Russia can attack immediately.
Fifth, to measure the extent of the USA that to what extent the US can go for the sake of this Issue.
Likewise, in early Oct 1962, USSR sends her specialist to Cuba. These specialists were secretly coming to Cuba in the form of irrigation and agricultural specialist. They were those who construct missiles and to fit these missiles in Cuba. Castro approved the deployment of Soviet missiles with those specialists.
The first missile came on the night of September 8th and Second on the 16th. These missiles were R-12 and R-14 with the range of 2000-4000Km. These missiles can easily destroy Washington and Airbases of the USA. On 14th, a U-2 flight took 928 photographs of constructed sites of Cuba where the missiles were deployed.
The US wants to counter this situation and they conclude six responses to overcome the issue.
First, they were very confident that they have a large number of missiles 26,400 missiles and the Soviet Union has only 3,300 missiles. They believe that it’s a part of the Cold war and they can’t attack us. So “DO NOTHING” was an option.
Second, the US should negotiate with Moscow to solve this solution through peace talks. So that both can find a solution without a war.
Third, the US should response secretly and destroy missiles in Cuba.
Fourth, the US should announce a proper war against Cuba and overthrow Castro, also to dismantle the nuclear missiles. It was a totally a proper war against the two superpowers. This is led to nuclear war. As they knew that they are not capable of doing this because they knew that war cause destruction.
Fifth, to destroy the missiles of the USSR in Cuba. they attack through airstrikes on missiles sites.
Sixth and final was that, to block Cuba’s surroundings so no more missiles can enter Cuba by USSR.
Ultimately, the USA considered the last option of blocked. Blocked was of 926Km on Oct22. CIA here misinterprets the number of Cuban and Soviet soldiers. They thought that there are 10,000 Soviet and 10,000 Cuban soldiers in Cuba but they were 43,000-270,000 respectively. The USA was also unaware of the actual number of warheads of the Soviet Union in Cuba. They only know about their presence.
Moreover, on Oct 25, the US called an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). There the US presented those photographs of missiles sites in Cuba. Before that, USSR did not agree on the statements of the US about the presence of missiles in Cuba.
End of Cuban missile crisis:
At last, both leaders of the states, US and USSR, negotiate about this crisis and both had agreements among them. USSR delivered two points as a term to solve this issue. On Oct 26th, USSR offers to withdraw if the USA does not invade Cuba. Moreover, on Oct 27 USSR again offers to withdraw her missiles if the US will withdraw her missiles from Turkey. So, Kennedy not openly but secretly agreed on these terms and to remove missiles if and only if USSR will withdraw her missiles first from Cuba.
So on 5-9 Nov, USSR loads her 42 missiles on 8 ships from Cuba. Again on 5-6 Dec, USSR withdraws 11-26 missiles on three ships. This is how the Cuban Missile Crisis ended.
Due to this USSR citizens and officers consider this as their defeat and that was an embarrassment for Khrushchev and USSR, as they first withdraw. Contrary, US military commanders were not happy with this act and they take this as the greatest defeat in their history. As they want to invade Cuba with full war.
Moreover, Castro was also not happy with the Soviet Union and he considered a betrayal by the Soviet Union. As in this all process US and USSR were dealing with each other and neglecting Castro. But he never ended his relations with USSR.
Moreover, both created a hotline between Washington and Moscow where both leaders can contact each other with a short time. Both started a decision-making process as it was the deadliest confrontation of the Cold War. This was also a case study that how the state decides a short period.