President John F. Kennedy: Hero or Villain

1314 words 6 pages
President John F. Kennedy: Hero or Villain?
For thirteen days, the United States’ government and citizens waited with abated breath, fearing the nuclear annihilation of their great nation. These thirteen days between October 16 and 28, 1962 are now known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Briefly this crisis can be explained as a confrontation between two of the world’s greatest superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, which nearly instigated a nuclear calamity that could have destroyed both nations. The two nations had been at odds for years over their differing political ideologies; while the Soviet Union favored communism, the United States was a republic founded on democratic ideals. The provocation for the Cuban Missile Crisis
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The committee’s main objective was to find a way to remove the missiles in Cuba. General Taylor, a close aide to Kennedy, “later characterized the choices: the United States could ‘take them out’ through a military strike, ‘squeeze them out’ through coercive pressure, or ‘buy them out’ through a negotiated settlement.” Kennedy and his advisors carefully weighed each option before making an educated decision.
Prior to the discovery of missiles in Cuba, there had been several reports of suspicious activity in Cuba which the President had disregarded. In a CIA document entitled “Recent Soviet Military Aid to Cuba,” there are several references to Soviet aid in Cuba. One section reports “as many as twenty Soviet vessels may have already arrived in Cuba since late July with military cargoes.” There are several similar declassified documents that show a buildup of military power in Cuba prior to the missile crisis. Why then did President Kennedy take so long to discover a major problem like the missile crisis, is a mystery.
When the missiles were first discovered, the first retaliatory measure was the issuance of a blockade against Cuba. The blockade prevented ships and other vessels from both entering and leaving Cuba, and under international


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