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Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev of the U.S.S.R. had sent missiles sent to Cuba, for defensive purposes. When U.S President John F. Kennedy heard about that, he sent planes on reconnaissance missions to spy on what Cuba and the U.S.S.R. was using the missies for. Khrushchev responded this with an argument, arguing that the missiles were for defensive purposes only and would not be used against the United States unless necessary. Kennedy called for a blockade to stop the flow of defensive weapons into Cuba, but could not successfully call a blockade unless the United States was at war with Cuba. If the United States went to war with Cuba, then the United States would have declared war against the U.S.S.R. also. By declaring war with the U.S.S.R. and Cuba, Khrushchev told Kennedy that this was possibly putting world peace at risk. Knowing this Kennedy created a quarantine to check Soviet ships that bring cargoes into Cuba, instead of a blockade. The United States would not need to be at war with Cuba to create a quarantine. Khrushchev tried to argue that a quarantine would complicate the lives of Cuban residents. Most likely because this would slow down the rate at which food and supplies entered the country. Kennedy wanted the missiles in Cuba to be removed immediately or else the military have to remove them by destroying them themselves. Also a U-2 spy plane
was shot down while flying reconnaissance missions over Cuba. Kennedy said the planes were unarmed. Khrushchev then said that the reconnaissance missions were violating Cuba airspace. After this the United States wanted Kennedy to arm planes on spy missions so that if fired upon could fire back to defend themselves. After all this Khrushchev agreed to remove this missiles from Cuba, if the United States promised to keep peace in the Caribbean, and never invade Cuba. Also the United States needed to remove their missiles from Turkey that were built in case Cuba and the U.S.S.R. used the missiles in Cuba. Khrushchev had the strongest argument because Kennedy just constantly said that if the bases weren’t removed, the United States would just simply destroy the bases no matter what consequences to world peace this way of handling the weapons came in contact with. Kennedy knew that blowing up the weapons was most likely going to lead to something larger than just Khrushchev and Castro being unhappy. While Khrushchev is trying to convince Kennedy that the weapons from the U.S.S.R. being sent to Cuba were just defensive weapons.
Khrushchev argued that the weapons being sent from the U.S.S.R. were strictly defensive weapons for Cuba to defend themselves from invasions and other kinds of attacks, since Cuba is smaller than most other nations. Khrushchev also argued that Cuba needed these weapons, because Cuba is surrounded by other countries like the United States that are much larger and stronger than Cuba is. Everyone in the U.S.S.R., Cuba, and the United States knew Cuba could not defeat the United States. “Who would believe that Cuba was a nightmare for US? It was to small; even if it wanted to gobble up US, it couldn’t.” (US Ambassador to USSR, Foy Kohler, October 16, 1962, 7 p.m.) Khrushchev claimed all the weapons being sent into Cuba were defensive and only in times of defense were these missiles to be used. “We confirm that
armaments now on Cuba, regardless of classification to which they belong, are destined exclusively for defensive purposes,” (Khrushchev to JFK, October 23, 1962, 5 p.m.) Since the U.S.S.R. was supplying Cuba with the missiles, Cuba and the U.S.S.R. became allies. This meant that even though Khrushchev knew the United States didn’t want to start a war, if the United States did attack Cuba then the U.S.S.R. would help protect their ally Cuba. Khrushchev said that attacking Cuba is like attacking the U.S.S.R. so the U.S.S.R. will be prepared to fight back. Khrushchev also doesn’t want to start a war, but said if the United States attacks the U.S.S.R. and Cuba then most likely a war will break loose and possibly threaten world peace. Khrushchev was saying that he will only launch the missiles and attack the United States if the U.S.S.R. or one of the U.S.S.R’s allies were attacked by the United States first.
Also in Khrushchev’s arguments most of the arguments that Khrushchev said he correctly argues that the United States solution to getting rid of the missiles by destruction was a possible threat to world peace. Khrushchev knows that neither The United States nor the U.S.S.R. wants to threaten world peace and he also knows neither wants to go to war so he kept sending weapons after Kennedy told him that he wants the missiles to be removed. Khrushchev kept sending cargo shipments, because some were supplies and others were considered defensive weapons.
Kennedy called for a blockade on Cuba to stop supplies from going into the country, so that he could stop anymore of the defensive weapons coming into Cuba, but failed to create a blockade and had to make a quarantine instead. He couldn’t make a blockade in front of Cuba because the United States was not at war with Cuba. The United States needed to be at war with
Cuba to make a blockade. If the United States started a war with Cuba to create this blockade, then the U.S.S.R. would have to fight against the United States because the United States declared war against one of U.S.S.R’s allies. Kennedy created this quarantine and checked cargoes coming into Cuba to make sure that no weapons were being sent into Cuba that could used offensively against the United States. By doing this Khrushchev wrote a letter explaining to Kennedy that all the cargoes entering Cuba were harmless and that all the weapons that were being sent into Cuba are all already there. Khrushchev said “I assure you that on those ships, which are bound for Cuba, there are no weapons at all. The weapons which were necessary for the defense of Cuba are already there.” (Khrushchev to Kennedy, October 26, 1962, 7 p.m.) Khrushchev kept saying that the weapons that were needed for Cuba to defend themselves are now there and not being sent anymore and the rest of the cargoes being shipped into Cuba were peaceful, even though after Khrushchev said that, weapons still continued to come into Cuba. Khrushchev most likely argued this point to keep Kennedy from searching the cargoes during the quarantine. Khrushchev also states that if anytime during this quarantine a vessel is stopped from coming into Cuba, then Khrushchev knew just as the United States knew that this would be considered piracy and possibly be a blockade meaning that the United States is declaring war against Cuba, which is also declaring war against the U.S.S.R. So Khrushchev once again stresses that declaring war could threaten world peace. “If you stop the vessel, then, as you yourself know, that would be piracy.” (Khrushchev to Kennedy, October 26, 1962, 7 p.m.)
Khrushchev also argues that the United States is complicating the life of Cuban people by having quarantines and flying over Cuba on reconnaissance missions. This is complicating the lives of Cuban residents because the quarantine was stopping supplies or extending the time it
takes for the Cuban people to get supplies, making the simple life of the Cuban residents less simple and more complicated. And the constant reconnaissance missions from the United States had Cuban residents worried about planes, not knowing if the United States was bringing bombs to drop on Cuba to get rid of the defensive missiles that were placed there. During the flight over Cuba that Kennedy had sent out to look at the missile bases the first time on October 27, 1962, an unarmed American plan was shot down by Cuban forces because Khrushchev believed the United States reconnaissance missions were violating Cuban airspace, therefore took safety precautions and shot down the plane in case the plane was planning to destroy the missile sites or invading Cuba. The United States military, after the attack on an American plane started to try to get President Kennedy to arm such planes with weapons to return fire if the plane is fired upon while on reconnaissance mission over Cuba, because a plane was shot down. Kennedy did not arm these planes, but continued to send planes on reconnaissance missions. On October 27, 1962 another plane that was told to be unarmed was shot down by Cuban forces which made the military ask President Kennedy to arm these planes and to fire back when attacked because the United States did not want to lose planes during reconnaissance missions. “If the Cubans were shooting at our planes, then we were going to shoot back.” (The Attorney General to Memorandum for the Secretary of state, October 30, 1962.)
Khrushchev made a deal with Kennedy that said, he will have the missile bases removed from Cuba under the supervision of the United Nations, if the United States removed the missiles that had been placed in Turkey facing the U.S.S.R, never invade onto Cuban land and keep peace in the Caribbean. Kennedy agreed to not invading Cuba and keeping peace with Cuba, but could not have the missiles removed from Turkey because the missiles in Turkey were under the
control of the NATO, and Kennedy could not remove them only NATO could. Since Kennedy could not do anything about the missiles in Turkey he ignored the telegram. Kennedy agreed to the peace with Cuba and in the Caribbean, but said nothing about the missiles being removed from Turkey, and Khrushchev accepted these terms. Khrushchev removed the missiles from Cuba under the supervision of the United Nations, and the United States did not attack Cuba. The United States had the missiles removed from Turkey later on.
Khrushchev had stronger arguments about the missiles being defensive missiles because Khrushchev never had the missiles used against anyone. Kennedy thought that the missile were going to be used against the United States, but never were used. Khrushchev also said Cuba is a small country and would have a hard time defending themselves from a nation like the United States which was why Khrushchev said he was sending weapons to Cuba that were necessary for defense. This was a strong statement, because Kennedy and Khrushchev both knew that the United States was much larger and stronger nation than Cuba. Khrushchev also had the stronger argument because he said he would not want to have the United States attack and destroy the missiles because it would create a threat to world peace which Khrushchev knew neither side wanted, but Khrushchev said that if the United States attacked the U.S.S.R’s allies the U.S.S.R. would have to help their ally defend themselves. This was a good argument by Khrushchev, because Kennedy want to send in the United States military and simply destroy the weapons himself. Lastly Khrushchev used a more calm approach to removing these weapons. Kennedy threatened to destroy the weapons, while Khrushchev seemed more open to negotiations.
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