Soviet Missiles in Cuba, 1962: President Kennedy's Evidence
Like President Bush did prior to invading Iraq to dismantle the Iraqi threat, where he presented evidence to the American people and United Nations, in 1962, President Kennedy did the same. Kennedy had got the support of nearly all nations in Latin America and South America before the U.S. Navy would blocade all vessels leaving and arriving in Cuba. The previous US disaster, the 1961, Bay of Pigs, had failed because the US would not be overt about providing military support to the few thousand Cuban-Americans who had tried to overthrow Castro.
President Kennedy presented the same evidence of Soviet missiles and aircraft in Cuba to the American people. Cuba, then, was a young Communist nation. A country that had been free until the late 1950's before Castro took control, and the cold war was at its height. Having Russian nuclear missiles only 90 miles from the US mainland simply was NOT permissible. The Russians had only the beginnings of missiles, building hard silos, and refurbishing obsolete airbases. For Kennedy, this situation had to be "nipped" in the bud. Many Americans were quite scared then and many built underground nuclear shelters and stored large amounts of food and water. It was no joking matter. This was real.
President Kennedy presented the main spy photos taken from high flying aircraft-over 30,000 feet of film. Spy satellites were still rather new then (America had barely got into space). Kennedy presented the evidence to the American people and it was broadcasted live across the nation. For those near a black and white TV (few color TVs existed then), the presentation of evidence was gripping. Few could refute the high resolution photos presented and what the US had to do next: blockade Cuba.
Kennedy's move saved the world from a nuclear war. Luckily, the Russian cargo ships carrying the missiles and bombs turned back before reaching the US Navy blockade. It could have easily gone in a totally different direction for up to now, the Soviets were not backing down.
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