There was a significant historic event that took place in Havana, Cuba on August 14, 2015; for the first time in over 54 years the United States flag once again flew over an embassy in the country. The three marines that took down the flag on January 4, 1961 were all invited back by President Obama to raise the flag once again. It marks a significant thaw in relations between the two neighbors and was an event that was welcomed by thousands of Cuban-Americans.
What Started The Deterioration Of Relations Between The Two Countries In The First Place?
Many people vividly remember the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962; for a tense 13 days, our country stood on the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union. The crisis itself goes far beyond those tense days so many years ago.
Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro was very worried that his country would once again come under attack from America after the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961. He sought the help of the Soviet Union to back the country in the event of another attack from the United States. The Soviets were more than willing to listen, because they were very displeased that the United States had placed medium range Jupiter ballistic missiles in Turkey and Italy that were capable of carrying nuclear warheads. In a secret meeting that took place in July of 1961, Fidel Castro and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev decided that the Russians would station missiles on Cuban soil to deter any attack by America against Cuba.
A few months later, a U-2 spy plane flight confirmed the presence of both medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles being actively deployed in Cuba and that several Ilyushin Il-28 light bombers were also being deployed at several airfields around the country. The United States immediately initiated a military blockade and declared they would take any measure necessary to stop more offensive weapons from arriving in Cuba. During the tense standoff that took place in those dramatic thirteen days, the entire world sat on edge and watched the diplomacy play out between the world’s two nuclear-armed superpowers.
The crisis was resolved on October 28, 1961 when the two sides made concessions to each other. The Americans pledged to remove their ballistic missiles from Turkey and Italy, and to also not attack Cuba unless provoked. The Soviet Union agreed to remove all the nuclear missiles from Cuba and the light bomber aircraft. For the Trivia buffs out there, the incident led directly to the formation of the nuclear hotline between the USA and Russia.
A New Beginning Between The Close Neighbors
The three Marines who lowered the flag that day in 1961, James Tracy, Mike East and Larry Morris; vividly recall walking out to the flag pole in a silent ceremony to lower the flag for what they thought might be the last time over the Cuban embassy. They remember being surrounded by hundreds of Cuban citizens who were hoping to get a last minute visa to the USA. All three were said to be extremely thrilled to once again be part of this significant event in history.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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