La crisis de los misiles de Cuba cincuenta años después

CAMBRIDGE – En este mes se cumple el cincuenta aniversario de la crisis de los misiles de Cuba, aquellos trece días de octubre de 1962 que probablemente fueran el momento en que el mundo estuvo más cerca de una gran guerra nuclear. El Presidente John F. Kennedy había advertido públicamente a la Unión Soviética que no introdujera misiles de ataque en Cuba, pero el dirigente soviético Nikita Jrushchev decidió cruzar la línea roja de Kennedy subrepticiamente y colocar a los americanos ante un fait accompli. Cuando un avión americano de vigilancia descubrió los misiles, estalló la crisis.

Algunos de los asesores de Kennedy lo instaron a lanzar un ataque aéreo y una invasión para destruir los misiles. Kennedy movilizó las tropas, pero también ganó tiempo anunciando un bloqueo naval de Cuba. La crisis amainó cuando los barcos soviéticos que transportaban más misiles regresaron a su punto de partida y Jrushchev accedió a retirar los misiles que ya había en la isla. Como dijo el entonces Secretario de Estado, Dean Rusk: “Estábamos mirándonos fijamente a los ojos y creo que el contrario pestañeó”.

A primera vista, fue un resultado racional y previsible. Los Estados Unidos tenían una ventaja de 17 a 1 en armamento nuclear. Los soviéticos reconocieron, sencillamente, dicha ventaja.

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