- Politics and Social Issues
The Secrets of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis
For 13 days in October, 1962, the world was waiting to see if the Soviets were going to cross the red line in the Atlantic that President Kennedy had drawn. Had they, nuclear war may have occurred. It was a face to face, eye to eye, stare down between two superpowers over Cuba and Soviet missiles there.
Many now declassified documents now reveal the many behind the scenes negotiations between the superpowers (China in 1962 was a very backward country). One secret meeting had Bobby Kennedy meeting with Khrushchev on the 27th where the US offered that it would publicly reject the invasion of cuba by the CIA if the Russians would remove the missiles. To tempt the Soviets more, the US would withdraw nuclear missiles in Turkey near the Soviet border, which were pointing towards them. Kennedy was hanging tough. The Russians were hanging tough but one would have to blink. It would Khrushchev and the Russians put on a winning face getting the US to remove missiles pointed at them. Also unknown at the time, was that a US ship had actually begun attacking soviet subs armed with nuclear missiles with depth charges, luckily all missed. Meanwhile, a US spy plane was shot down over Cuba. Then, Kennedy isolated Cuba with a naval blockade. The nuclear missiles already on Cuba had also become operational, something the CIA nor Kennedy knew then. The Russians had also stationed other lesser tactical weapons there that US intel had no clue about. Some of the nukes on the island were placed near Guantanamo Bay, because Castro felt a US invasion might occur there..
Castro was furious when he had been told of the deal between the superpowers and lobbied hard to retain the tactical nukes there that America knew nothing about. Luckily, the Russians kept their word.