Essay Format: Point 1: Bay of Pigs (1961)
What it was
Occurred in 1961, was a failed attempt to overthrow Castro’s forces and influence by invading Cuba at the ‘bay of pigs’ which was a beach. However, lack of information about the terrain and underestimation by the CIA led the invasion force to be crushed and a majority of the forces (which was composed mainly of Cuban exiles that were trained by the CIA) were captured.
Reason for the invasion
The United States, mainly the CIA, wanted to remove Castro from control believing that it would help to ensure the US influence and industry that occurred within Cuba.
Castro had been confiscating US property and businesses on Cuban territory and nationalizing them. The US wanted to deal with this economically and militarily. To did this the US implemented an embargo on all exports to Cuban and the military action was the incident that is now known as the ‘Bay of Pigs’.
After the failed invasion, Khrushchev took advantage of the moment and offered Castro military support by placing missiles in Cuba. This resulted in a strengthened bond between Cuba and the USSR. Castro’s popularity increased within the country. The US did not attempt any further invasion plans. However, the US did try to assassinate Castro with mob. All attempts failed. Khrushchev got what he wanted, a missile site close to the US to counter the US missiles located in Turkey while keeping Castro happy because Castro felt protected.
-Soviet Historian Zubok believes that the placing of missiles in Cuba after the ‘Bay of Pigs’ was solely dedicated to preserving Cuba thereby preserving Soviet hegemony and the spread of communist.
-However other historians feel that Khrushchev’s only intentions for placing the missiles in Cuba were to counter the US missiles in Turkey.
Overall: the Bay of Pigs increased tensions within the United States.
Point 2: Quarantine and Missiles (1962)
What it was
The USSR had begun sending Mid Range Ballistic Missiles to Cuba along with technicians and soldiers to protect them. President Kennedy had the following course of action available: 1st Strike (not chosen because it would give the US a bad rep), invasion (not chosen because it was possible that the missiles could be launch before the invasion successful), diplomacy (not chosen because the Soviets may not agree to US terms without getting a benefit and the US did not want to be taken advantage of), and quarantine/blockade (chosen because it was seen as the most effective course of action and could be carried out with a minimal risk of war). President Kennedy made a public announcement that they were going to institute a military blockade in order to prevent any nuclear war heads from being transported to Cuba from the USSR.
The missiles in Cuba gave the US a lot of tension and unease and the US did not want any nuclear weapons close to the US in order to keep the civilians safe.
The USSR ignored the US blockade and claimed it was illegal. The USSR attempted to continue to send missiles to Cuba. The USSR said that they would run the blockade and not allow the US to check their ships. Combat troops in Cuba were put on high alarm. It opened up an exchange of letters/communication between Khrushchev and Kennedy.
-Orthodox View (Historian Robert Kennedy): States that by the US imposing the quarantine they exerted maximum