After the United States’ botched attempt in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion to overthrow Fidel Castro, Cuba’s Marxist-Leninist leader, Castro made a secret missile agreement with Nikita Khrushchev, the Russian premier. Khrushchev agreed to place Soviet medium range (MRBM) and intermediate range (IRBM) nuclear missile bases in Cuba. America received evidence of the Soviet arms build-up in the region, after conducting routine surveillance flights. American intelligence had photographic evidence of increased air and sea military activity, as well as images of airstrips being extended and launch complexes built. There was also reliable information that Warsaw Pact troops had landed on the Cuban coast. It was the opinion of the American government, under President Kennedy, that Cuba was preparing for a Russian-backed nuclear offensive against the US. Kennedy immediately responded with a naval quarantine, obstructing the delivery of further military packages to Cuba. He then demanded that the missiles be removed.
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