In December 1960 Castro declared that Cuba was now a communist state and in May 1962 the USSR announced publicly for the first time that it was supplying Cuba with arms. By July 1962 Cuba had the best army in Latin-America and by September it had thousands of Soviet missiles, tanks, boats and 1,000 technicians to maintain the weapons.
We are a Communist state.
We are supplying Cuba with arms
America watch this with great alarm. They were worried the USSR would put nuclear missiles on Cuba. On 11th September Kennedy warned the USSR that he would 'prevent by all means necessary' Cuba becoming an offensive military base but the same day the USSR assured the USA they had no intention of doing so.
On the 14th October 1962, an American spy plane flew over Cuba and took pictures of the missiles sites. These pictures confirmed that there was nuclear missiles being built by the USSR. More photos were taken over the next few days which showed how ready the sites were but also that 20 Soviet ships were on the way to Cuba carrying missiles.
Ready in 11 days
Ready in 7 days
Kennedy received a letter from Khrushchev saying they would not observe the blockade
Kennedy informed of missiles and Ex Comm formed
Kennedy decides on blockade and calls on USSR to remove missiles
The blockade began. The Soviet ships and submarine approached the blockade zone but suddenly, at 10.32 am the first 20 Soviet ships turned around.
Khrushchev sent a 2nd letter reviewing the terms saying the conditions of the removal of the. missiles from Cuba was if the USA removed their missiles from Turkey.
Khrushchev sent a letter explaining the missiles were purely defensive but that he would remove them if the US lifted the blockade and promised to to invade Cuba.
An American plane was shot down and the pilot was killed. Kennedy was advised to launch an immediate attack on Cuba.
Kennedy decided to delay attack but instead ignored Khrushchev's 2nd letter and respond to the 1st.
Khrushchev agreed. The US ended their blockade in November and removed their missiles from Turkey 6 months later (this was kept secret).