Cuban Missile Crisis

During the Cold War, President John F. Kennedy became aware of missiles that the Soviet Union has placed in Cuba. In his speech, Kennedy lists 7 steps that were devised to protect both the security of the US, and of the entire Western Hemisphere. In step one he states, “To halt this offensive buildup, a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated. All ships of any kind bound for Cuba from whatever nation or port will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back.” (Kennedy, 1962) This one sentence gives us the entire purpose of his speech: stop the missiles from going to Cuba and get them out. Kennedy argues throughout his speech that the US wants to be peaceful but the Soviet Union, along with its allies, are not. “We have no wish to war with the Soviet Union–for we are a peaceful people who desire to live in peace with all other peoples.” (Kennedy, 1962) Kennedy does not want a war with the Soviets; he only wants peace for all the countries involved.

Women striking for peace relating to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Source: thegaurdian.com

Women striking for peace relating to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Source: thegaurdian.com

Kennedy should have expanded more on a few of the topics he mentions in his speech. He did not go into much detail on how they found these missiles. Kennedy should have elaborated more on the conversations he had with Khrushchev. The American public had a right to know about its affairs with other countries. We can’t be too sure of how much of this speech is Kennedy’s own words, thoughts and opinions. He claims he wants peace and not war but turns around and bashes the Soviets by stating, “They contribute nothing to your peace and well-being. They can only undermine it.” (Kennedy 1963) He is speaking towards the people of Cuba. He continues with, “But this country has no wish to cause you to suffer or to impose any system upon you.” (Kennedy, 1963) Kennedy is being very facetious in making it seem like we really care about Cuba’s well-being, when in reality he is only worried about how the missiles will affect the US.

Kennedy, John F. “American Rhetoric: John F. Kennedy – Cuban Missile Crisis Address to the Nation.” American Rhetoric: John F. Kennedy – Cuban Missile Crisis Address to the Nation. 1962. Accessed April 28, 2015. http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkcubanmissilecrisis.html.