Canada–US Relations and Cuba, 1962
In response to revelations in October 1962 that the Soviet Union was installing nuclear missiles in Cuba, President John F. Kennedy blockaded the island, sparking the most significant crisis of the Cold War if not human history. With the world on the brink of nuclear war, Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker refused to back his American counterpart. Yet as is pointed out in this chapter, throughout this standoff, and in terms of Cuba more generally, Canada offered quiet assistance to the United States, a point overlooked by historians. Throughout the Cuban missile crisis Canada supported the US militarily and diplomatically, as well as through intelligence-sharing activities, all of which was much appreciated by US officials. However, the crisis brought to the fore the simmering issue of whether or not Canada would acquire nuclear warheads for its military.
Keywords: Canada–US relations, John F. Kennedy, John Diefenbaker, Cuba, Cuban Missile Crisis, Cuban Revolution, nuclear weapons, North American Air Defense Command, anti-Americanism, Canadian nationalism
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