What were the consequences of the Cuban Missile Crisis

Upon looking back at the Cuban missile crisis I feel most people look back in sheer amazement at how close the world came to a nuclear war. During the crisis that developed around the missiles placed of Cuba by the Soviet Union there were many key factors that led to it building up and finally Khrushchev backing down, I will now look at the consequences of the Crisis and what happened after.

The reason why the USA had issues with the Cubans was because they suspected that they were holding weapons of mass destruction on the island for the Soviets, this quite obviously worried them and they wanted the missiles to be removed. After the missiles were removed as part of the resolve of the crisis Cuba stayed highly armed but not armed with nuclear missiles. It also stayed under communist leadership, in the USA the crisis had a big effect on people’s views towards communism and in particular their anti-communist views. To turn back communism critics of the USA had wanted them to invade Cuba. However the crisis showed how wrong they were to invade Cuba would be a very high risk. Whereas communist Cuba was merely a convince for the USA, a nuclear war would have been the end of the world.

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Communism had been such a big part of the reason for the bad relationship between USA and USSR but after the Cuban missile ended. This was because both leaders saw how their game of brinkmanship nearly ended with nuclear war and now they were prepared to make sure that nuclear war would never happen in the future, or even get to the stage where conflict of this nature could easily turn into nuclear war. To do this it was felt that a constant hotline should be set up between the white house and the Kremlin, this hotline being a telephone link direct for one to the other. This led to a treaty being signed in 1963, a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, this was a significant step forward that had come about due to the end of the Cuban missile crisis. The treaty did not stop the development of weapons but it did limit tests of nuclear weapons.

As well as this both leaders gained something else from the ending of the crisis. Throughout the West and in his own country Kennedy gained a good reputation as he had stood up to Khrushchev and made him back down. Khrushchev would also be able to claim good from the end of the crisis as Cuba had remained a useful ally in “Uncle Sam’s Backyard”. The fact that he was made to back down was reversed and made to his favor he was seen as the peacemaker and willing to make the first move to compromise.

Over time neither superpower were trying to gain the upper hand as the aggression diminished and overall I feel that both USA and the USSR as well as the rest of the world were now more aware of nuclear weapon and the damage they could cause to the world and that it was imperative that this destruction should never happen no matter what the dispute was.

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