Cuba and the Cold War

By Ethan Miller

Cuban Communist Revolution

Fidel Castro led a communist revolution that took over Cuba in the late 1950's. Many Cubans fled to Florida and later attempted to invade Cuba and overthrow Castro. This "Bay of Pigs" invasion failed.

Cuban Missile Crisis

In 1962, the Soviet Union stationed missiles in Cuba; instigating the Cuban Missile Crisis. President Kennedy ordered the Soviets to remove their missiles, and for several days the world on the brink of nuclear war. Eventually, the Soviet leadership "blinked" and removed their missiles.

The Cold War

The fear of communism and the threat of nuclear war affected American life throughout the Cold War. The convictions of Alger Hiss and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for spying for the Soviet Union and the construction of nuclear weapons by the Soviets, using technical secrets obtained through spying, increased domestic fears of communism.

Preparing for nukes

During the 1950's and 1960's, American schools regularly held drills to train children what to do in case of a nuclear attack, and American citizens were urged by the government to build bomb shelters in their own basements.

The Blame Game

Senator Joseph McCarthy played on American fears of communism by recklessly accusing many American governmental officials and other citizens of being communists, based on flimsy or no evidence. This led to the coining of the term McCarthyism- the making of false accusations based on rumor or guilt by association.