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Cuba, Soviet Union, United States
16 October 1962 c 20 November 1962
Fidel Castro, John F. Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev
Cuban Missile Crisis was a direct and dangerous confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was the moment when the two superpowers came closest to nuclear conflict. In July 1962 Nikita Khrushchev reached a secret agreement with Fidel Castro to place Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. On October 14, 1962, American U-2 spy plane photographed a Soviet SS-4 medium-range ballistic missile being assembled for installation, thus precipitating the onset of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
On October 24, Soviet ships bounded for Cuba neared the line of U.S. vessels enforcing the blockade. As result, the Soviet ships stopped short of the blockade. On October 27, an American reconnaissance plane was shot down over Cuba.
Soviet and American leaders found a way out of the conflict. On October 26, Khrushchev offered to remove the Cuban missiles in exchange for a promise by U.S. leaders not to invade Cuba. America removed nuclear missiles from Turkey and Italy.