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In the year 1962, there was a confrontation amongst three nations; the United States, Russia and Cuba. It came to be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis because there was tension and a nuclear war was eminent. On one hand, Soviet commanders were ready to launch nuclear weapons against the United States if it ever invaded Cuba. On the other hand, the United States army was on the highest alert to repulse any attack on its soil (Kennedy, 1969). However, the war was averted after some signed agreements between the two countries.

During that year, the Soviet Union seemed to be lagging behind the United States in terms of the arms race. Missiles from the United States could strike the Soviet, but Soviet's missiles could only strike Europe. In April, Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet's Premier, had an idea of having missiles placed in Cuba; this would be advantageous to them since it would deter any attack against it.

Fidel Castro, Cuba's leader, agreed to the plan since he wanted to prevent an attack from the United States. There were several planned attempts which failed, for example, the Bay of Pigs invasion. Castro felt that the United States could strike once more. After the approval, the Soviets were very quick and secretive in building the missile installations in the island of Cuba.

In October, reconnaissance photographs showed the Soviets building the missile installations. When President John Kennedy was informed of the events he quickly went into action and agreed to enforce a naval quarantine around the small Island. This was aimed at preventing any more offensive weapons arriving from the Soviet Union. He demanded that the Soviet Union have all the weapons removed from the Island (Kennedy, 1969).

Tensions were eminent on both sides. The United States military were ready for war. It was then that Khrushchev proposed, in a letter, that they would remove the missiles if the United States agreed to not invading Cuba. Things even got worse when the U.S. received a second letter demanding that they also remove their missiles from Turkey.

The United States agreed to the first letter but ignored the second. The tensions were eased when Khrushchev agreed to remove the missile installations. In return, the United States agreed to not invading Cuba.

This was one of the major confrontations of the cold war. It is an important case because it came close to being a nuclear conflict. It was also a threat to the international arms agreement. As a result, the Hotline Agreement, as well as, the Moscow-Washington hotline was created. This was a direct communication between the two countries.

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