Cuban Missile Crisis was a famous event during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Caused due to the placement of nuclear missiles in Cuba by the Soviet Union, it was the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full scale nuclear war. Know more about this 13 day tense drama as well as its causes and consequences through these 10 interesting facts.
1. Bay of Pigs Invasion was a major cause of the Cuban Missile Crisis
A military invasion of Cuba by a CIA sponsored group took place in April 1961. Known as the Bay of Pigs Invasion after a bay in southern Cuba, it was thwarted by the Cuban armed forces in three days. The failure of Bay of Pigs Invasion strengthened the position of Cuban PM Fidel Castro and was an embarrassment for the US government led by John F. Kennedy. It also strengthened Cuba’s ties with the Soviet Union and made Castro fear that a US invasion of Cuba was on the cards. US imposed embargo and continued covert operations against Castro’s government. All this contributed to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
2. The operation to place nuclear missiles in Cuba was code named Operation Anadyr
The two major superpowers at the time US and the Soviet Union were involved in a long conflict to dominate world affairs, which is well known as the Cold War. By 1962 there was presence of American nuclear missiles in Italy and Turkey against the Soviet Union with their capital Moscow within range. Expecting an invasion of Cuba which if successful would be a blow to the communist cause, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro agreed to place nuclear missiles secretly in Cuba. The Soviet code name for the operation was Operation Anadyr.