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The emergence of a communist government in Cuba heightens Cold War tensions -- and for several terrifying days brings the world to the brink of nuclear war.

Hotline Excomm
With the fate of the world at stake, President Kennedy turned to a group of his most trusted advisers. Listen in as members of the ExComm debate the U.S. response to Soviet missiles in Cuba.

Hotline The Hot Line
Kennedy and Khrushchev relied on the vagaries of second-hand communication to resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis. They needed a hot line for the next time.

Bunker Mentality
In Cuba, the Cold War is as alive as ever, and citizens of all ages are taught to be prepared. CNN's Lucia Newman reports from the Cuban countryside.

After Fidel
Defined by decades of bad blood, relations between Cuba and the U.S. are as prickly as ever. Will there be a thaw when Castro dies?

Time and Pravda first draft TIME: The Vengeful Visionary
January 26, 1959

PRAVDA: Foil the criminal schemes of the enemies of peace
October 24, 1962

Did you know

In 1948, Fidel Castro and his wife, Mirta Diaz-Balart, honeymooned in Miami and New York. But he ran out of money and had to pawn his watch.

Interactive QTVR Image
Visit Havana's "Museum of the Revolution," a memorial to Castro's communist Cuba
Newsreel Flashback
Castro's Rise to Power
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Decision game
Air strikes? Invasion? Blockade? How would you respond to the Cuban Missile Crisis?
interviews Fidel Castrovideo icon
Cuban Leader
Theodore Sorensen
Aide to President Kennedy
Anatoly Dobrynin
Soviet Ambassador to the U.S.
Kennedy Speech On Missile Crisis
October 22, 1962
Kennedy-Khrushchev Letters
October 26-27, 1962
Khrushchev's Message to Kennedy
October 28, 1962
Knowledge bank
Fidel Castro
John F. Kennedy
Nikita Khrushchev
Robert McNamara
Cold War Timeline
Episode 11: Vietnam