S wanted to help Cuban exiles to overthrow the Castro government (which was hostile to USA). CIA under President Eisenhower had sought to help the anti-Castro rebels to overthrow the regime. Organised Operation Zapata that was carried out on 17th April 1961. Failed miserably. America followed this with Operation Mongoose which aimed to destabilise Cuba through acts of sabotage, economic warfare through embargo on Cuban imports, increasing Cuban’s diplomatic isolation through its expulsion from the Organisation of American States and simulating military exercises (code named Ortsac) aimed at toppling an imaginary dictator. Edwards, 2002: 127-8). America was trying to topple Castro through isolating Cuba, and in doing so, increased the hostility of the Castro regime against the USA and accentuated the fear of invasion, thereby prompting Castro to turn to Moscow for help to defend Cuba from America. (Because Castro was aware that Cuba could not possibly defend herself against America. ) (Edwards 2002: 126, 128) The U. S. S. R is also to blame as they were taking advantage of the fact that Cuba was close to the U. S. This creates tension for the U.
S as this poses a threat to their security. This act made the U. S feel threatened thus taking action. Should not have gotten involved with Cuba? Feb 1960: Extended $100 million worth of credits to Cuba. (Edwards, 2002: 125) May 1962: USSR deployed regiments and weapons to Cuba, including nuclear cruise missiles and mid-range ballistic missiles that could strike targets in USA’s interior. Had stationed 40,000 military personnel in Cuba. This was an indication of economic expansion into an area that ranked high on America’s defence priority.
Sponsorship of Castro’s regime and subsequent creation of a de-facto military base in Cuba appeared to be a deliberate affront to America’s national security. Cuba’s strategic importance to America can be likened to Poland’s importance to USSR. Transporting of military aid (especially missiles) to Cuba thus escalated a crisis between 2 neighbouring countries into a Cold War issue that threatened World peace. Cuba can also be blamed, they got paranoid over the U.
S invasion so they used one of the powerful countries to guarantee its safety. If they weren’t as paranoid Manipulated super-power politics to guarantee security of borders and to legitimise the new Castro regime . E. g. Turned to USSR for economic and military help, so that it would not have to play the role of a submissive little brother to America. Castro: “Moscow is our brain and our great leader. ” By using USSR as a counter-weight to USA, Cuba was shrewdly manipulating super-power politics for its own advantage.
Castro was aware that Cuba’s distance from Moscow meant that it would be given a large measure of independence from Moscow, as opposed to the tight leash that it would be kept on had they decided to concede to American superiority. Therefore, the escalation of conflict was to some extent orchestrated by Cuba for her own benefit, as it meant that she would not have to fight the American behemoth on her own, but had USSR’s backing. Consequences to missile Cuban crisis-) Led to a thaw in USA-USSR relations, as both parties were aware that their rivalry had almost led to an all-out nuclear war (mutually-assured destruction).
Establishment of direct hotline from Washington White House to Kremlin to facilitate high level discussion between leaders of the 2 countries so as to help defuse tensions. (20th June 1963)Signing of the nuclear test-ban treaty (June 1963). Both countries agreed to cease atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. But underground testing was still permitted. However, take note that although the Cuban Missile Crisis ended, US hostility towards Cuban regime continued, even though Kennedy briefly explored the option of negotiating with Castro via unofficial channels.
Resumption of Operation Mongoose June 1963. Acts of economic sabotage organised by CIA. Plans to assassinate Castro (Operation Condor) remained in place. Therefore, this shows clearly that it was USSR’s involvement that made the conflict between Cuba and USA escalate into the Cuban Missile Crisis in the first place, due to USSR’s provision of missiles to Cuba. Without USSR’s involvement, it would have remained a conflict between America and Cuba. USSR, USA and Cuba all had a part to play in the utbreak of the Cuban Missile Crisis, but it was USA who first over-reacted to the threat posed by a leftist regime in Cuba, and had created a self-fulfilling prophecy by taking unjustified pre-emptive strikes such as Operation Zapata and Mongoose that scared Cuba into thinking that her national security was threatened, and thus made her turn to USSR as a strong backer in order to secure her own security. Thus USA was chiefly to blame as she tried to secure her national interest at the expense of other nations, and thus led to the escalation of tensions as nations sought to secure their self-interest by scaring the other into retreat.
Had USA not over-reacted, a peaceful compromise could have been achieved earlier and the scare that was the Cuban Missile Crisis could have been averted. Moreover, USSR’s delving into the conflict was also partly in response to previous US stationing of Jupiter missiles in Turkey, which had essentially held USSR at gun-point, thus USSR’s decision to place missiles in Cuba was justified as it was trying to make USA understand the peril of being placed at gun-point. Therefore, I disagree with the above statement, as USA, more than USSR was to blame for the outbreak of the Cuban Missile Crisis.