The Cuban missile crisis was one of the most tense confrontations between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was an event that came very close to causing a nuclear war between the two countries. The confrontation ended on October 28, 1962 when the two sides reached an agreement.
What caused the Cuban Missile Crisis?
Both sides, tell a slightly different story about what caused the Cuban Missile Crisis, but the basic facts remain the same. The Soviet Union was worried about the ballistic missiles armed with nuclear warheads that the US had installed in Europe, particularly in Italy, the UK and Turkey. After the failed attempts to overthrow the Cuban government by the US, the Soviet Union decided to secretly begin building bases for nuclear missiles, capable of striking the US, in Cuba. On October 14, 1962, a reconnaissance aircraft photographed the missile bases under construction. This is how the Cuban Missile Crisis began.
Tensions quickly rose between the United States, the Soviet Union and Cuba. The US considered an all out attack on Cuba, but instead prevented Cuba from receiving offensive weapons by air or sea. A stand off quickly developed, and a US aircraft was shot down. Fortunately, secret talks began between the countries and they eventually came up with a compromise. The Soviets would remove nuclear missiles from Cuba and the US would remove theirs from Europe and Turkey. A special telephone hotline was created between the US and the USSR so the leaders could communicate in the event of another crisis.