Cuban Missile Crisis

Mind Map by , created over 6 years ago

GCSE Missile Crisis Mind Map on Cuban Missile Crisis, created by sagar.joban on 05/29/2013.

Created by sagar.joban over 6 years ago
Cuban Missile Crisis- GCSE History
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Cuban Missile Crisis
1 The Cuban Revolution - USA's Reaction
1.1 Cuba was originally ruled by its leader, Fulgencio Batista. The USA knew that he was unpopular and corrupt, but continued to support him as he was anti-Communist. In Cuba, US businesses dominated it and owned its major industries such as sugar and tobacco. They enjoyed holidays there, particularly in Havana and the USA dominated Cuba militarily as well as there was a large US naval base in Guantanamo.
1.2 From 1956, a young Communist called Fidel Castro led a campaign of guerrilla warfare against Batista and eventually overthrew him in 1959. He took over many US-owned businesses, much of their land, gave the land to ordinary Cuban farmers, forged strong links with the USSR and in return, Khrushchev sent him advisers, economic and military aid.
2 The Bay of Pigs Invasion
2.1 From 1959-61, there was tense relationship with the USA and the USSR. During this time, the USA gave support to Cuban exiles. In Jan. 1961, Pres. Eisenhower broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba and this continued with Pres. Kennedy. He supplied 1,500 Cuban exiles aid to land in Cuba and overthrow Castro. However, they were met by 20,000 Cuban troops with USSR weaponry. Humiliating disaster for Kennedy. It strengthened Castro's position in Cuba.
3 Why did Khrushchev put missiles on Cuba?
3.1 Khrushchev wanted to produce more nuclear warheads and close the missile gap between the USSR and the USA.
3.2 The USA had placed missiles in W. Europe and Turkey, in range of the USSR. Doing this would restore the missile balance.
3.3 The USSR had more cheap, medium-range missiles than the USA - Cuba was ideal for it
3.4 Soviet missiles in Cuba would increase Khrushchev's bargaining power
3.5 To help defend Cuba - it was the only Communist county in the W. Hemisphere and had just survived the B.O.P.
3.6 Khrushchev wanted to strengthen his political position in the USSR. The missiles could act as a major propaganda victory.
4 Why did Kennedy react as he did?
4.1 Kennedy was under serious pressure from US military leaders to bomb and invade Cuba immediately - this would have almost certainly led to a nuclear war though
4.2 Kennedy wanted to give Khrushchev an option without immediate conflict which is why he chose a blockade
4.3 He realised that he needed to give Khrushchev an option without humiliating him - in private, he agreed to not invade and remove the US missiles from Cuba.
4.4 Kennedy used the opportunity of Khrushchev's first letter to explore ways to solve the crisis whilst convincing the Soviets he was prepared for war.
5 Kennedy's Immediate Options
5.1 Do Nothing - the USA still had a larger nuclear force and over-reacting could start a nuclear war. Yet, it would be seen to be a sign of weakness and encourage Soviets to challenge the USA more.
5.2 Surgical Air Strike - It would remove the threat by destroying the missiles. Yet, the US air force couldn't guarantee all missiles would be destroyed, some may be launched against U cities and kill millions, it would kill Soviet soldiers causing Khrushchev to respond and as Cuba is so small, it would be seen as a very aggressive act.
5.3 Invasion - It would remove the missiles from Cuba and Castro from power but would cause an inevitable Soviet response - possibly in W. Berlin and a nuclear war.
5.4 Diplomatic Pressure - Involvement of other countries may force Soviets to stop, but it was very unlikely that Khrushchev would listen.
5.5 Blockade Cuba: It would show firm action of the USA, and cause Khrush. to reconsider his actions. It would give the USA the option of an air strike or invasion later, but it wouldn't remove the threat of weapons in Cuba, retaliation of Soviets and action would be slow
6 The end of the crisis - its consequences
6.1 It's widely agreed that the Cuban Missile Crisis was the furthest that the USA and USSR came to a nuclear war in the Cold War. Because of this, it helped to improve US-Soviet relations.
6.2 The USA and USSR decided to set up a telephone link (hotline) between Moscow and Washington DC so that future problems could be discussed to prevent this happening again.
6.3 Nuclear arms talks began and in 1963, a Test Ban Treaty was signed by the USA, the USSR and Britain.
6.4 Cuba - Castro had remained in power and the USA agreed to not invade again; Cuba remained heavily armed and became a focus for other Communists in South America and Castro kept control of former US industries. BUT, Cuba remained poor and isolated in the W. Hemisphere, unable to trade with the USA and dependent of the USSR for supplies and equipment.
6.5 USA - Kennedy was seen as the 'victor' as he stood up to the Soviets and they backed down. He also stood up to some hard-line military advisers, showing how dangerous they were. BUT, he agreed to not invade Cuba and controversially agreed to remove NATO missiles from Turkey. Castro remained in power of Cuba and Kennedy made lots of enemies - he was hated by Cuban exiles and distrusted by key generals.
6.6 USSR - Khrushchev had stopped a US invasion of Cuba and had a guarantee for it; he could claim to have acted reasonably and as a peacemaker; he also had an agreement with Kennedy to remove the missiles from Turkey later on. BUT, the USSR was seen to have lied to the UN about its missiles in Cuba; Khrushchev had been forced to back down due to US pressure - Soviet missiles were removed, leaving the USSR feeling ashamed; Khrushchev was unable to make public his secret dealings with Kennedy and in 1964, he was replaced as Soviet Leader.

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