In this article, we will see another important event from World History i.e famous Cuban Missile Crisis which occurred during the Cold War Era. It is also known as October Crisis or the Caribbean Crisis or the Missile Scare. It began when Soviet Union started building missile sites in Cuba in 1962. It is one of the important confrontation which came after Berlin wall during Cold War Era. Hence it is important to discuss about this event from UPSC Mains Exam Point.
Cuban Missile Crisis
In this Crisis, primarily Soviet Union was up against United States of America(USA) in which both of them were amassing and pointing missiles tipped with nuclear war heads to each other. During the Crisis, American deployed missiles in Italy and Turkey whereas Soviet Union deployed ballistic missiles in Cuba. Later on Kennedy Administration reached an agreement with Soviet Union to remove Jupiter Missiles from Turkey and in exchange Soviet agreed to remove the Nuclear Missiles from Cuba.
What Led to Cuban Missile Crisis
After the end of World War 2, Soviet Union were quickly trying to expand its territory to gain the upper hand. USA on the other hand does not want the communist Soviet to expand its communism or socialism across the world. So a Cold war started from 1945 with USA and Soviet Union being the main parties. During 1959, when Fidel Castro took over the power in Cuba he nationalized all the American companies. In response, USA broke all economic relations with Cuba, stopped all the aid provided to Cuba and also stopped buying Cuban Sugar.
This became a disaster for Cuba since USA was the largest buyer of Cuban Sugar. Then Russia came to rescue the economy of Cuba by buying Cuban Sugar at higher prices. Castro then turned to USSR and signed contract with Nikita Khrushchev to sell the Cuban Sugar. In exchange, USSR wanted to expand the communism in Cuba close to USA.
After the failure of Bay of Pigs Invasion, Castro was sure that he might not survive the second invasion of USA so he asked Nikita Khrushchev to built Missile sites in Cuba to protect himself from any American Threat. Khrushchev agreed to built missile sites which could potentially target any cities in USA. This event marked the beginning of Cuban Missile Crisis. More on Cuban Missile Crisis.
Why Cuban Missile Crisis is Important
- It is worth noting here that this missile crisis not only helped the Kennedy Administration build its image for showing strong foreign policy against the overwhelming odds but it also helped overcome the effects which arises due to failure of Bay of Pigs Invasion.
- This event also led the establishment of direct phone link between Soviet Union and USA which was called as hotline to avoid any miscommunication in the Future.
- USA and Soviet Union also agreed to sign Nuclear Test Ban Treaty post the end of this Cuban Missile Crisis.
What Can we Learn from the Crisis
- Cuban Missile Crisis told us how unsafe we are in the world of Nuclear Missiles.
- Countries like USA, USSR were amassing nuclear stockpile since World War which further threaten the peace and safety of this world.
- Countries needs to resort to more on dialogue instead of waging war to solve any confrontation.
- Policy Makers needs to design the policy keeping other countries in mind.
- Government needs to expand its communication channels with other countries and work closely to increase the cooperation and development.
- UN needs to play a central role to encourage the countries to sign disarmament of Nuclear Missiles treaty. Although USA and USSR did signed a treaty to destroy some of its stockpiles but still they need to do lot of work in this area.
- Finally, all the countries should work together to become a Nuclear Free World.