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Non Aligned Movement and Cuban Missile Crisis – World History – Free PDF Download


The Non-Aligned Movement:

  • Non-Aligned movement( NAM), an international organization dedicated to representing the interests and aspirations of developing countries.
  • The Non-Aligned movement counts more than 100 member states, whose combined population amounts to more than half of the world’s population.
  • The Non-Aligned movement emerged in the context of the wave of decolonization that followed World War Two.
  • At the 1955 bandeng conference,( the Asian-African conference), the conference attendees, many of whose countries had recently gained their independence, called for “absent patient from the use of arrangements of collective defence to serve the particular interest of any of the big powers”.
  • In the context of the Cold War, they argued, countries of the developing world should abstain from allying with one of the superpowers( The United States and the USSR) and should instead join in support of national self-determination against all forms of colonialism and imperialism.
  • The Non-Aligned movement was founded an held its first conference( the Belgrade conference) in 1961 under the leadership of Joshep Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Jawahar Lal Nehru of India, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and Sukarno of Indonesia.
  • As a coalition of membership, the states of the Non Aligned movement cannot be part of a multilateral military alliance( but is North Atlantic treaty organization) or have signed a bilateral military agreement with one of the “Big Powers” if it was “Deliberately concluded in the context of Great Power Conflicts”
  • However, the idea of Non-Alignment does not signify that a state ought to remain passive or even neutral in the international politics.
  • On the contrary, from the founding of the Non-Aligned movement, it’s stated aim has been to give a voice to developing countries and to encourage their concerted actions in world affairs.
  • Unlike the United Nations( UN) or the organization of American states, the Non-Aligned movement has no formal constitution or permanent secretariat.
  • All members of the Non-Aligned movement have equal weight within its organization.
  • The moment’s position are reached by consensus in the summit conference of heads of state or government, which, by convention, convenes every three years.
  • One of the challenges of the Non-Aligned movement in the 21st century has been to reassess its identity and purpose in the post-Cold War era.
  • The movement has continued to advocate for international cooperation, multilateralism, and national self-determination, but it has also been increasingly vocal against the in equities of the World Economic order.

Period Between 1953 and 1962:

  • This period saw a relative improvement in the East-West relations, though there were still areas of disagreement and the period did not witness complete peace.
  • The major factors behind improved relations were following:

The death of Stalin:

  • After Stalin’s death the new Russian leader wanted to improve relations with the US.
  • The reason might be because by August 1953 The Russians as well as Americans had developed a hydrogen bomb and the two sides were finely balanced.

McCarthy Discredited:

  • Anti-Communist feelings in the US began to moderate when McCarthy was discredited in 1954 and the Senate condemned him by a large majority.
  • It had gradually become clear that McCarthy was something of a fanatic.

Signs of the Improved Relations:

  • The signing of the peace agreement at one man jam ended the Korean War in July 1953.
  • The following year the war in the Indo-China ended.
  • The Russians made following important concessions in 1955:
  • They agreed to give up their military base in Finland.
  • They lifted their veto on the admission of 16 new member states to the UN.
  • A quarrel with Yugoslavia was healed when Khrushchev paid a visit to Tito.
  • The Cominform was abandoned, suggesting more freedom for the satellite states.
  • In spite of all the above mentioned development it became clear in the coming time that the peace was only for a short time and with the formation of Warsaw Pact another round of Cold War era ensued.
  • The Russians continued to build up their nuclear armaments and the situation in the Berlin got worse because the Western powers were still refusing to give official recognition to the German Democratic Republic( East Germany)- The Russian protectorate.

The Cuban Missile Crisis:

  • Cuba became involved in the Cold War in 1959 when Fidel Castro, who had just seized power from the corrupt, American backed dictator Batista.
  • All American- owned factories and Estates were nationalized.
  • As Cuba’s relations with US worsened, those with the USSR improved; in January 1961 the US broke all diplomatic relations with Cuba, and the Russians increase their economic aid.
  • The new US president John F Kennedy approved a plan of Batista supporters to invade Cuba from American base in Guatemala( Central America).
  • A force of about 1400 men who invaded the Bay of pigs according the plan were crushed by Castro’s two planes.
  • Castro announced that he was a Marxist and that Cuba was a socialist country.
  • After the failed US attempt to overthrow the Castro regime in Cuba with the Bay of pigs invasion, and while the Kennedy administration planned operation Mongoose, in July 1962, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev reach the secret agreement with Cuban Premier Fidel Castro to place Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba to deter any future invasion attempt.
  • Construction of several missile sites began in the late summer, but US intelligence discovered evidence of general Soviet arms buildup in Cuba, on September 4, 1962, President Kennedy issued a public warning against the introduction of offensive weapons into Cuba.
  • Despite the warning, on October 14 a US U-2 aircraft took several pictures clearly showing sights for medium range and intermediate range ballistic nuclear missiles(MRBMs and IRBMs) under construction in Cuba.
  • These images were processed and presented to the White House the next day, thus precipitating the onset of the Cuban missile crisis.
  • On October 22nd, The Kennedy administration ordered a naval “quarantine” of Cuba.
  • That same day, Kennedy sent a letter to Khrushchev declaring that the United States would not permit offensive weapons to be delivered to Cuba, and demanded that the Soviets dismantle the missile base is already under construction or completed, and return all offensive weapons to the USSR.
  • On October 24th, Khrushchev responded to Kennedy’s message with the statement that the US “blockade” was an “act of aggression” and the Soviet ships bound for Cuba should be ordered to proceed.
  • On October 26, the crisis, however, took a dramatic turn when Khrushchev sent Kennedy a message the evening of October 26, which meant it was sent in the middle of the night Moscow time.
  • It was a long, emotional message that raised the specter of nuclear Holocaust, and presented a proposed resolution ” if there is no intention”, he said, ” to doom the world to the catastrophe of thermonuclear war, then let us not only relax the forces pulling on the ends of the rope, let us take measures to Unite the Knot. We are ready for this”
  • Kennedy in his response sets forth in his message to the Soviet leader, which proposed the steps for the removal of Soviet missiles from Cuba under supervision of United Nations, and I guarantee that United States would not attack Cuba.
  • Further US also promised to remove its Jupiter missiles, which was another part of the Soviet conditions.
  • The next morning, October 28, Khrushchev issued a public statement that Soviet missile would be dismantled and removed from Cuba.
  • The crisis was over, but the naval quarantine continued until the Soviets agreed to remove their IL- 28 bombers from Cuba and, on November 20, 1962, The United States ended its quarantine.
  • US’s Jupiter missiles were removed from Turkey in April 1963.



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