The lasting impact of the Cuban missile crisis

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The lasting impact of the Cuban missile crisis

Of all the incidents in the troubled relationship between Cuba and the United States, the most critical was the Cuban Missile crisis in 1962. It was the closest the world had ever come to all-out nuclear war.

CCTV America’s Michael Voss reports.

The lasting impact of the Cuban missile crisis

The lasting impact of the Cuban missile crisis

Of all the incidents in the troubled relationship between Cuba and the United States, the most critical was the Cuban Missile crisis in 1962. It was the closest the world had ever come to all-out nuclear war. CCTV America’s Michael Voss reports.

In 1961 the U.S. had backed a failed invasion by Cuban exiles at the Bay of Pigs. This pushed Fidel Castro closer to the Soviet Union and the following year, fearing another invasion, he allowed Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to secretly install ballistic missiles on the island.

But the secret didn’t last long. They were photographed by a U2 spy plane, sparking a crisis which brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

Despite intense pressure from the military to invade Cuba, President Kennedy opted for a naval blockade instead. After a week of secret diplomacy, in which the Cubans were never consulted, the Soviets backed down in return for a U.S. promise not to invade Cuba, along with a private agreement to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey.

More than half a century later, the missile silos lie abandoned and decaying.

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