This move reminded the world of the “Bay of Pigs” incident or the “Cuban Missile Crisis” when the United States and Russia, the two largest nuclear powers in the world, reached the brink of a nuclear war that lasted for 13 days.
But the highest US official in charge of nuclear weapons says that there is no change in the status of weapons of mass destruction, which the United States has.
“I am satisfied with the status of my forces, and I am not making recommendations for any changes,” Admiral Charles Richard, commander of US Strategic Command, said Wednesday.
He adds, “I will say in an open session that nuclear command and control are in the best position in terms of defense and flexibility to launch missiles in its history.”
Although the timing, location, and details of the Cuban and Ukrainian crises differ, the two sides of the conflict, America and Russia, are the same.
What was the Cuban missile operation that led to the most serious crisis of the Cold War and which almost led to a nuclear war?
Cuban Missile Crisis
In October 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the hottest episode of the Cold War, erupted.
In 1959, Cuba was closely allied with Washington under the leadership of the right-wing General Fulhencio Batista, there was significant American investment in Cuba, and the United States was the main consumer of Cuba’s sugar and tobacco production.
That year Batista was overthrown in a revolution led by leader Fidel Castro, whose first step was to go to Washington; To secure American support for his movement, President Dwight Eisenhower refused to speak with him.
At the United Nations office in New York, Castro spoke with representatives of the Soviet Union, who offered their support for his new government.
Castro nationalized all American-owned companies in Cuba, refused to pay compensation, and thus the United States had a communist state “in its backyard.”
As a result, America took a number of steps, most notably imposing a trade embargo on Cuban goods, depriving Cubans of the sugar and tobacco market and importing oil and other basic commodities.
In April 1961, immediately after his inauguration as President of the United States, John F. Kennedy approved a plan to invade Cuba and overthrow the government.
The CIA landed 1,400 Cuban exiles in the Bay of Pigs on the southern coast of Cuba; In order to provoke an uprising against the Castro government.
Almost at the last moment, Kennedy canceled an order he had promised the Cuban resistance to support the US Air Force for their attack, which led to their easy defeat.
The failure of the “Bay of Pigs” operation led to the strengthening of the Castro Center, who agreed with the Soviets to deploy medium-range missiles on his country’s territory to deter Washington from any attempt to invade his country and overthrow the regime in it, and thus Cuba became an advanced military base for the Soviets.
In the face of the Soviet threat in 1962, Kennedy, a newcomer to power and a desire to demonstrate his strength as the leader of a superpower, found nothing but the imposition of a blockade on Cuba; To prevent the arrival of Soviet missiles.
He had already imposed a naval blockade on Cuba to prevent Soviet ships suspected of carrying nuclear missiles from reaching Cuba on October 22, the eve of the message that put the world on edge.
Khrushchev’s letter to Kennedy
On October 23, Nikita Khrushchev, then-President of the Soviet Union, was on Kennedy’s desk saying that Soviet ships would not stop at the blockade, but would make their way.
The world held its breath during crucial hours, before American spy planes spotted the Soviet ships carrying missiles, as they returned to their places.
Two days after his first message, Khrushchev sent a new message to Washington pledging to remove the missile launch sites if the United States agreed to lift the embargo, and promised not to invade Cuba, ending a crisis that almost changed the face of history.
On the radio, the Soviet leader broadcast a message addressed to the US President on October 28, in which he announced his agreement to remove all missiles from Cuba and return them to the Soviet Union.
That incident was the first to launch nuclear talks that led to the 1963 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Talking about a Russian failure in Ukraine, four days after the start of the military operation, provokes panic similar to the Bay of Pigs site, with the world approaching a nuclear war.
Western reports indicate that the Russian army is facing obstacles in its operations against Ukraine, other than expectations that the intervention process will be quick and decisive.
And apparently in light of this failure, Putin’s announcement came to return the world back to 60 years ago, according to experts.
In this regard, Dr. Nabil Rashwan, an expert on Russian affairs, says: “The threat of nuclear war is not the first time that it occurs between Russia and Western countries. It took place in the Caribbean war, and both sides know very well the seriousness of this step.”
He added to “Sky News Arabia” that “Russia will not back down and its main issue is not to enter Ukraine into NATO, but the issue will not depend on Ukraine, as there are other countries reluctant to join NATO, such as Armenia and Georgia.”
Rashwan stressed that “the scene is getting more and more complex day by day, and the longer the Ukrainian resistance continues, the Europeans are encouraged, and they want to turn Kyiv into a quagmire for Russia in the same Afghan way.”
For his part, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson considered that the Russian president “seeks to divert attention from the hard resistance in Ukraine.”
While referring to “logistical difficulties” faced by the Russian forces, Johnson saw that what was happening was a “disastrous operation poorly planned by Putin and would lead to failure.”
As for NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, he said that Putin’s move is “dangerous and irresponsible.”
The United States also accused the Russian president of “fabricating threats” after his decision on the “deterrence force”, and the US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas Greenfield, said that “Putin’s order is an unacceptable escalation.”
Commenting on the Russian affairs, Ashraf al-Sabbagh said, “The fears now revolve around the possibility of a repeat of the Caribbean crisis, or what is known as the Cuban missile crisis, which originally began with the Bay of Pigs war and the United States’ attempts to overthrow the Cuban government, as well as the confrontation with the Soviet Union in the framework of the Cold War.”
He added to “Sky News Arabia” that “things may reach the red line, but a sound mind may appear to avoid any repercussions that humanity may regret for many years.”