The Secret Agreement That Ended The Cuban Missile Crisis

At that time, Khrushchev knew what the United States did not do: first, that the firing of the U-2 by a Soviet missile violated Moscow`s direct orders and that Cuban anti-aircraft missiles against other American reconnaissance aircraft were also contrary to Khrushchev`s direct orders to Castro. [125] Second, the Soviets already had 162 nuclear warheads in Cuba, which the United States did not believe was there at the time. [126] Third, the Soviets and Cubans on the island would almost certainly have reacted to an invasion by these nuclear weapons, although Castro believed that all Cubans would probably die from it. [127] Khrushchev also knew, but might not have taken into account the fact that he had submarines armed with nuclear weapons that the U.S. Navy may not have known anything about. The United States had no plan because its secret services were convinced that the Soviets would never install nuclear missiles in Cuba. EXCOMM, whose vice-president, Lyndon B. Johnson, quickly discussed several ways of doing things: [52] The first delivery of R-12 missiles arrived on the night of September 8, followed by a second on September 16. The R-12 was a medium-range ballistic missile that could carry a thermonuclear warhead.

[29] It was a single-stage, road-carrying, surface-fired, liquid propellant-based rocket capable of supplying a Megaton-class nuclear weapon. [30] The Soviets built nine sites – six for mid-range R-12 (NATO SS-4 sandals) missiles with an effective range of 2,000 kilometres and three for medium-range R-14 (NATO SS-5 Skean) missiles with a maximum range of 4,500 kilometres. [31] In response to the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion and the presence of US missiles from Jupiter in Italy and Turkey, First Soviet Secretary Nikita Khrushchev accepted the request to put nuclear missiles on the island in order to deter future invasion. At a secret meeting between Khrushchev and Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro in July 1962, an agreement was reached and construction of a series of missile launch facilities began over the summer. Cuba regarded the result as a betrayal of the Soviets, as decisions on the resolution of the crisis had been made exclusively by Kennedy and Khrushchev. Castro was particularly sensitive to the fact that some issues of interest to Cuba, such as the status of the US naval base at Guantanamo, were not addressed. As a result, Cuban-Soviet relations have deteriorated for years. [148]:278 As the meeting progressed, a new plan appeared, and Kennedy began to be convinced. The new plan invited him to ignore the last message and return to Khrushchev`s old message. Kennedy initially hesitated and felt that Khrushchev would no longer accept the agreement because another had been offered, but Llewellyn Thompson argued that this was still possible. [110] Special Counsel and White House Counsel Ted Sorensen and Robert Kennedy left the meeting and returned 45 minutes later with a draft letter. The president made some changes, had them typed and sent them.

At 12:12 p.m. EDT on October 27, the United States announced to its NATO allies that “the situation is getting shorter and shorter…. the United States could, in a very short period of time, in its interest and that of its Member States in the Western Hemisphere, consider it necessary to take any military action. At 6:00 a.m., the CIA announced that all missiles were operational in Cuba.