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HIS344Y1 (120)
Ebba Kurt (12)

Lec 11

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University of Toronto St. George
Ebba Kurt

• choice of 3/4 essay questions, pick one and answer • every single issue is major issue ◦ no minor/obscure issues ◦ evolution of international relations – 1945-1960 • expansion of communist ideology – wherever LatinAmerican revolutionaries wanted to improve their own state's social structure Washington always saw the threat of communism taking hold ◦ given circumstances, revolution could not be held back, takes place in Cuba ◦ Cuba becomes major battleground • historiography ◦ hawks: traditional historians said Khrushchev personally is responsible – only one objective and that is to take communism across the ocean and bring communism into LatinAmerica, infiltrate and spread communism, undermine capitalism and US, challengeAmerican ownership ◦ doves: revisionists said thatAmericans threatened Castro, brought it upon themselves ◦ owls: combination of mistakes by both states, Khrushchev was as much responsible for the crisis as Kennedy • first and most important because it was played out in the open, the way it unfolded made it even more important and dramatic ◦ Americans pulled it off, seen as majorAmerican victory ◦ from October 1962 it was seen as the greatest example ofAmerican crisis solution ◦ a great deal of myth emerged, associated with the president as well (Kennedy was well- liked) ▪ helped to establish legend and several myths • myths of Cuban Missile Crisis ◦ epitome of how a crisis should be solved – how an individual should handle a situation that could have led to WWIII ▪ nothing was further from the truth – the whole crisis unfolded from such a way that no government was fully aware of what was happening, all individuals were groping in the dark, miracle was that the crisis didn't go further ▪ Americans had no clue how many Russians were in Cuba – 50000 Russian troops ▪ if they had invaded Cuba it would for sure have resulted in WWIII ▪ Soviets had permission to use tactical nuclear weapons – if there was an invasion would definitely have fired the missiles ▪ Soviets had four submarines there, had nuclear torpedoes ◦ Soviet mistakes ▪ October 27, Russians shot down anAmerican reconnaissance plane, could have given theAmericans impression that Russians were there for hostile reasons ▪ why were missiles there – Khrushchev used the missiles to gain the upper hand on BOP, use it to scareAmericans into giving in on important issues ▪ Americans used quid pro quo in exchange for Soviet decision to remove the missiles – not a complete diplomatic success • both sides blinked, threat of nuclear war was so close that both sides gave in • April 1959 – Fidel Castro publicly declared to Nixon and New York Times that they were not communists, didn't intend to create communist system, looking for aid fromAmericans ◦ Castro may not have been but younger brother was a communist,sought to establish relation with Soviets and asked for aid and weapons from USSR ◦ Castro didn't pass duck test, expropriatedAmerican property, nationalizedAmerican industries and booted outAmerican national corporations ▪ even if president didn't openly declare which side he was choosing he didn't pass duck test –Americans ceased trade, embargo on trade ▪ USSR offered to buy the sugar, established diplomatic ties ▪ Belgium weapon blew up, killed dozens of Cubans – Castro convinced that it was the CIA's doing ▪ Americans were forced to make decision how to handle new regime of Cuba • early March, 4 days after Le Coubre – na
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