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Fifty Years of RevolutionPerspectives on Cuba, the United States, and the World$
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Soraya M. Castro Marino and John S. Reitan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813040233

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813040233.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 04 July 2022

The Kennedy-Castro Years

The Kennedy-Castro Years

(p.184) 9 The Kennedy-Castro Years
Fifty Years of Revolution

David A. Welch

University Press of Florida

David A. Welch argues that the Cuban Missile Crisis was a microcosm of U.S.-Cuban relations during the Kennedy years. In 1962, Soviet Chairman Nikita Khrushchev's attempt to sneak strategic nuclear missiles into Cuba caught U.S. president John Fitzgerald Kennedy off guard and precipitated the most serious international crisis in human history. During this period, leaders managed to learn a number of useful and important lessons that could have been turned to mutual advantage, and indeed were turned to mutual advantage for at least some time. But they missed other lessons, and the limited, positive lessons that they did learn had tragically limited traction. Politics, personality, and happenstance conspired to prevent much in the way of progress, with the result that the Kennedy years ended more or less as they began: with the United States and Cuba neither willing nor able to reach a modus vivendi based on mutual respect. The story of U.S.-Cuban relations during the Kennedy years, in short, is largely a story of missed opportunity.

Keywords:   Cuban Missile Crisis, Soviet Union, Khrushchev, Kennedy, international crisis, missed opportunity, lessons, politics, U.S.-Cuban relations, relations

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