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The Cuban Missile Crisis

Communism versus Democracy. The endless battle that is the theme of the Cold War, and more specifically, the Cuban Missile Crisis. And why should it not be? Communism is the bare opposite of Democracy, giving the people no rights whatsoever. Democracy is letting the people decide who leads the country, and how they will live. It is the year 1962, and the epitomes of both these models of government hang in the balance: The United States of America versus the Soviet Union.
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev grins in mock triumph in the direction of the United States. Maybe they didn't see this gesture, but it echoed into a laugh that couldn't possible be ignored. The world's first launched satellite, Sputnik, proved that the Soviet Union had more advanced space technology than any other country. He knew that somewhere, President Kennedy was frowning at the television where he saw Sputnik launching into space, his fist clenching at his side. The thought made Khrushchev grin wider. Point one to the Soviets!
President John F. Kennedy sits on a red velvet chair in the White House, tapping his Corona cigarette over the ash tray. He leans his head in one of his hands, a stressful gesture. Kennedy has just been told that the Soviets are building offensive weapons in Cuba. He lets out a breath of air, suddenly remembering his mistakes in the Bay of Pigs. The country was depending on him—whether they knew it or not—once again. Would he let down his country? Or would there soon be no country for him to let down?
Day and night the Soviets worked on their nuclear missiles, determined to prove that they were the best, that Communism would over-rule Democracy. In a mere ten days the missiles would be operational, only ninety miles off the coast of Florida. The same missiles that could destroy the United States. But the Soviets were playing with fire, and as anyone that plays with fire, you are likely to be burned.
Kennedy knew that if he attacked Cuba, it would only be a matter of time before the Soviets fought back. And that meant war: or more particularly, WWIII. And nobody wanted that. But perhaps, they could blockade Cuba, preventing the Soviets from getting the precious materials they needed to finish the job. Then they could compromise with the Soviet Union, asking for them to remove the weapons if they would lift the blockade.
Khrushchev knew the jig was up. With a sigh, he agrees to the compromise. Although the leader of the Soviet Union was a ruthless man, he was also a reasonable one. And a man that could smell that war was on the horizon: Everyone could. And he was not willing to risk his country for the sake of destroying the Democracy. Win to the Americans…and the Soviets.
Kennedy smiles as the sun rises in the Oval Office. After everything they’ve has been through, it feels good to raise his glass to a toast. A toast to the end of the crisis, a toast to Democracy, and perhaps even a toast to a new beginning.



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