With relations between Russia and the United States at their lowest point since the Cold War, this month marks the 52nd anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the world moved perilously close to nuclear Armageddon.
Then, as now, the underlying reason for the breakdown in relations between East and West was US imperialism.
I remember speaking to my father about the Cuban Missile Crisis once. At the time of the crisis in October 1962, he was stationed in Cyprus with the Royal Air Force. Britain had its Vulcan nuclear bombers based there at Akrotiri, where the RAF maintains a base to this day. I remember him telling me how in those fateful days the base was put on a war footing and how everyone believed there was going to be a nuclear conflict between the Western and Eastern blocs.
The crisis unfolded between 15-28 October, after the US detected the presence of Soviet ballistic missiles on Cuba along with hundreds of Soviet technicians and thousands of military personnel. US intelligence had received information on the presence of the missiles and Soviet military personnel on the island from various sources in the days leading up. It was confirmed by surveillance pictures taken by a U-2 spy plane flying over Cuba on October 14.
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