The CIA organised a uprising of the Cuban exiles at the bay of pigs in April 1961
The USA banned all trade with Cuba in the autumn of 1960
Fidel Castro nationalised all industry in July 1961
Khrushchev announces that he will protect Cuba by any means necessary against the USA.
Khrushchev placed missiles on Cuba in order to test Kennedy. This was because Kennedy was a new, young president so announced in September 1961 to see if he could threaten him. Khrushchev had been given more motivation to test Kennedy after the humiliation after the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961 as he believed that after this Kennedy would ignore the missiles being placed on Cuba.
Another reason Khrushchev put missiles on Cuba was in order to reduce the missile gap. By October 1962 the USA had 170 ICBMs and 16 Polaris missiles, whereas the USSR only had 70 ICBMs. This meant that the USA had a generous advantage over the USSR, especially as the USA had missile bases all over the world, including: Britain, France, West Germany, Turkey and Japan. All of which surrounded the USSR. Placing missiles on Cuba would of reduced the gap as the missiles the USSR already had (700 medium range missiles) would reach the USA quickly, for example it would take 10 minutes for a medium range missile to hit Washington.
If the missile gap was reduced, Khrushchev’s own position would be strengthened within the USSR. At this point it was important to do so as his own communist part were questioning his strength.
The USA gained from the Cuban Missile Crisis for multiple reasons. One reason the USA gained was because the missiles in Cuba were removed and on the 16th October ExComm decided the best way for them to be removed, which was publically. The blockade on the 24th October achieved this without resorting to violence. The USA also gained as Kennedy was shown to be successful without using violence and because he stood up to Khrushchev and forced the USSR to back down. The Crisis increased Kennedy’s reputation, which had been damaged and humiliated by the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961 and blamed to his age and inexperience. In contrast to Khrushchev, whom was removed from power in 1964 due to his failure within the Crisis, shows that the USA gained more and was in a stronger position after the outcomes of the