Was Khrushchev’s decision to put the missiles in Cuba an error in his judgement?

Revisiting the Cuban Missiles Crisis

Kenny Wongchamcharoen
3 min readApr 29, 2020

Yeah! Definitely. It’s Khrushchev’s fault.

Let’s be honest here. His decision caused unintended repercussions on the USSR. On 15 October 1962, a US spy plane discovered a missile site in Cuba installed by the USSR. When Kennedy eventually received the news, he then ordered a naval and air blockade on Cuba, meaning that all importing and deployment of Soviet ‘offensive weapons’ would not be able to reach Cuba. This caused the immediate escalation of tensions with the Soviet Union and Cuba as they believed that the US was aiming to launch a full-scale act of war between it and the USSR. These responses of the USSR and Cuba have also sharply increased the possibility of the nuclear war, pushing the world dangerously close to it. Moreover, eventually as Khrushchev decided to remove the missiles in Cuba, he greatly lost his prestige and credibility as the USSR leader because the government saw his action as compromising too much in the negotiation, making the USSR appear weak.

Thus, his decision can be considered as his error in judgement as it has backfired against him. The reaction of JFK after he discovered the missiles caused the conflict between the two nations to…

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Kenny Wongchamcharoen

✒️ Writer for ‘The Ascent’, ‘Real Life Resilience’, and ‘Voice Tech Podcast’, currently based in Singapore and Thailand.