1962: Missile Crisis in Cuba

Andrew De La Cruz, Guest Writer

It is so hot outside and all I can hear around me is crying babies. The line is so long as us Cubans stand in line for government food. We stand in a line like this once a week every week. Since my mom has to take care of my younger siblings I get stuck having to deal on a weekly bases with the crowd. The year is 1962 and life in Havana, Cuba has been under the leader Fidel Castro. We are known as a Communist Country and at first all was great here until Fidel started to make up all kinds of rules and taking over all mayor businesses. My name is Sabastian Alvarez, and I am 18 years of age, and I live in the capital of Cuba.  Havana is a very large city. I live here with my mom, dad, and two younger siblings.

I remember back before, Fidel Castro took over in 1959 as Prime Minister, life in Havana was known as a dynamic tourist city for American tourists. I loved living in the city during this time. Americans would visit and some would stay for long periods of time. I had met some of those Americanos through my father’s taxi driving. He would often let me go to work with him, and we would take the Americans to where they wanted to go. The visitors tried teaching my father and I inglés. I was a fast learner and quickly picked up many words. Sadly, this seems like such a distant memory now.

I have had to mature very quickly these past few years. My father no longer works for himself, but for the government. All taxi car drivers under Castro were required to work for the government. Fidel said it would be what’s best for the country so that no taxi owner would over or under charge. At first we thought it might be better this way, but then my father realized the government just wanted to take over the business to charge what they wanted. Now, they only give my dad a small percentage of his earnings. Life has changed forever under Fidel Castro.

I recently heard a rumor that the United States has opposed Castro’s government and had  tried to assassinate him back in 1959. That did not work, and now it is 1962 and the Soviet Union was here in Cuba frequently for talks with our now Communist Country.  There are rumors that the Soviets were working with the Cuban government to build nuclear missiles. The people of Cuba suspect that they might be used one day on the U.S.

Today is October  22, 1962 and the President of the U.S, John F. Kennedy heard of offensive missiles and nuclear weapons in Cuba.  When he heard this and saw the evidence brought to him he took immediate action against my country of Cuba. A blockade of Cuba had begun preventing further supplies of armaments from reaching our island, American armed forces were put on alert and the navy was at sea on ready. Life as I knew it stopped that day. We were all ordered to stay in doors. I remember seeing the U.S President on all the news channels making it very clear that if Cuba launched any missiles from Cuba toward the Western Hemisphere, that would mean they were attacking them. All around Havana I could hear the military testing missiles.  I knew that the Cuban military was training due to all the guns going off in the distance.  Over six days, but it seemed like many more to all Cuban citizens, the United States brought Cuba and the world to the edge of a nuclear war. The world held its breath for days, but thankfully the missile crisis ended on October 28, 1962.




Brenner, Philip. Turning History On Its Head. The National Security Archive, https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/nsa/cuba_mis_cri/brenner.htm#brenner. Accessed 11 April 2019.

Griffiths, John. The Cuban Missile Crisis. Rourke Enterprises, 1987.

History. “Cuban Missile Crisis.” A&E Television Networks, https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/cuban-missile-crisis. Accessed 17 April 2019.