Cuban Missile Crisis
8:53 am
Mon October 15, 2012

How Cuba Nearly Joined The Nuclear Club

Recent research and a new book by the son of a Soviet insider are putting the Cuban Missile Crisis of a half century ago in a scary new light. Juan Tamayo of the Miami Herald reports we were closer to nuclear war than we have realized. Here's the part about the 98 nuclear missiles that Nikita Khrushchev almost left with Fidel Castro.

Khrushchev, right, considered Castro a hot head.
Khrushchev, right, considered Castro a hot head.
Credit AP

Nearly 100 smaller Soviet nuclear warheads were also in Cuba, unknown to the U.S. government at the time and for decades into the future.

Fidel Castro wanted desperately to keep them.

Had Castro prevailed, Cuba would have become a nuclear power. And if Kennedy had known that Khrushchev had all but lied on Oct. 28, the hawks in Washington might have won their push for an all-out U.S. invasion of the island.