The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in October 1962. It was a tense standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union that almost led to nuclear war. The pilot of a US U-2 spy plane observed the assembly of medium-range ballistic missiles in Cuba, prompting a diplomatic crisis. Once installed at that range, the missiles could easily reach the eastern United States.
President John F. Kennedy, together with close advisers, considered options for response over the next few days. Some called for the United States to destroy the missiles in an air strike and then invade Cuba. However, Kennedy decided instead to form a naval blockade of Cuba and at the same time warn Khrushchev, the Soviet leader, that the United States would not tolerate nuclear weapons on Cuban soil.
Tense days followed as the two superpowers negotiated. Eventually, it was agreed that the missiles would be removed from Cuba, and in exchange, the United States would agree not to invade Cuba and would also withdraw its...
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