‘the Cuban Missile Crisis Was Triumph for the Soviet Union.’ How Valid Is This Assessment with Reference to the Years 1962 to 1964?

905 Words4 Pages
‘The Cuban Missile Crisis was triumph for the Soviet Union.’ How valid is this assessment with reference to the years 1962 to 1964? The initial outcome of the Crisis did seem to be a Soviet loss at the hands of the USA. However, these losses were more apparent than real. In the long term the USSR won some vital and long-lasting victories. It also forced some crucial US losses which, due to the bi-polar nature of the US-USSR relations, translated into further Soviet victories. With all these long-term victories, the results of the crisis were a triumph for the USSR. The immediate outcome of the crisis was a huge propaganda loss for the USSR with the withdrawal of Soviet missiles; the USSR was seen to back down from the USA, showing the USA to be powerful and the USSR to be weak. This terrible propaganda loss was made even worse by the recent propaganda disaster in Berlin in 1961, with the building of the Berlin Wall. The two huge propaganda losses were so damaging to the USSR that it even resulted in Khrushchev being ousted from power in 1964. In contrast, the USA won a great propaganda victory; and Kennedy’s political career was given a great boost after his g --- at the Bay of Pigs in 1961. Kennedy became a ‘Cold War Warrior’, the boosts to his reputation clearly being shown by his mid-term gains in 1962. Yet, these losses for the USSR were merely superficial and short-lived. Although the USA had won the propaganda victory, Khrushchev had managed to defend Cuba against the might of the US. Khrushchev had always maintained that the sole reason he went ahead with Operation Anadyr (to put missiles on Cuba) was to defend Cuba. After Castro had overthrown Batista in 1959, he began nationalising business and seizing US assets, seizing $1billion worth of assets in 1960 alone. The US clearly wasn’t happy with this and decided to remove Castro. Their first attempt, the
Open Document