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Crisis Over Cuba

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Crisis Over Cuba by Herminne Tonita -

Cuba is an island nation only ninety miles from the coast of the United States. In 1959 a revolutionary reformed named Fidel Castro took over its government. Cuba's banks, railroads and many other businesses were owned by the Americans at that time. So, too were many of the big sugar plantations.

Castro needed money to make changes in Cuba. To obtain it he began to take over American-owned businesses. In the opinion of the United States government this was stealing American property. Not only this, but Castro seemed to be organizing a communist state right on the door-step of the United States.

In 1960 President Eisenhower agreed to give weapons and ships to refugees from Cuba who wanted to overthrow Castro. When Eisenhower retired in January, 1961, the plan w as supported also by the new President, John F. Kennedy.

On April, 17th, 1961, a force of 1,400 anti Castro Cubans landed at the Bay Of Pigs on Cuba's south coast. Castro had tanks and 20,000 men waiting. Within days the invaders were all captured or killed. But Castro believed that Kennedy would attack again, so he asked the Soviet Union for help. Khrushchev sent him shiploads of rifles, tanks, aircraft. Kennedy grew worried and ordered a close watch to be kept on Cuba.

On Sunday, October 14th, 1962, an American U-2 spy plane flew high over the island taking photos. They all showed Russian missile launching sites being built. Kennedy was shocked by the U-2 photos. "This is the week I better earn my salary", he said grimly. Some advisers wanted him to send bombers to destroy the missiles bases. He also thought about sending American soldiers to capture them. But instead he ordered American ships and aircraft to set up a blockade. They were to stop any Soviet ships carrying more missile equipment to Cuba.

For then terrifying days the world feared e nuclear war. People waited in fear for the next news flash on their radios and television. Finally Khrushchev ordered his technicians in Cuba to destroy the launching sites and return the missiles to the Soviet Union. In return, Kennedy called off the blockade and promised to leave Cuba alone. Privately, he also agreed to remove American missiles sited on the border of the Soviet Union in Turkey. The most dangerous crisis of the Cold War was over.
Crisis Over Cuba written by Herminne Tonita for FamousWhy.com
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Tags: cuba, island, coast, 1959, fidel castro, sugar plantations, communism



Category: Travel  - ( Travel Archive)

Date Added: 31 May '07


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