Cuban Missile Crisis and Political Cartoons

You Make the Call
 What is a political cartoon?
 Drawings that express the artist’s
point of view about a situation or
 Can criticize, show approval, or draw
attention to an issue
 Can be serious or funny 
 Use symbols & other visual clues to
communicate their message
 1945 America successfully tests world’s 1st atomic bomb
 1949 Soviet Union developed
 Both sides compete in a race to build enough nuclear
weapons to defeat the other & more powerful
 Both test ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missiles)
 1958-U.S. spy plan shot down while
taking photos of Soviet military
 1961-Soviets build the Berlin Wall to
divide democratic West Berlin,
communist East Berlin
 1961-Communist Revolution in Cuba
 Fidel Castro suspends elections, jails &
executes opponents, controls media,
takes over economy
 Soviet Union & China are allies &
provide aid
 Bay of Pigs-we helped Cubans try to
overthrow Castro…huge disaster
 1962- A U.S. spy plane photographed Soviet
offensive nuclear missile sites in Cuba. The site at
the top right hand corner is labeled MRBM
(medium range ballistic missile) with a range of
2,200 miles.
 You are an advisor to President
Kennedy. What do you advise the
president to do?
 The president asks you to assess these 5 possible
responses. How would you prioritize these possible
response? What are the positives and negatives of
1. Ignore the missiles.
2.Initiate a naval blockade of Cuba to prevent Soviet
ships from bringing further supplies to the island.
3. Invade Cuba.
4. Launch an airstrike against the missile sites.
5. Send an diplomat to discuss the matter with Soviet
leader Krushchev
 Respond to the 3 situations the President might face
and offer your recommendation for what the president
should do if:
 1. The soviets fire on American naval vessels enforcing
the blockade.
 2. Cuban commanders launch one of the missiles
already in Cuba toward the U.S.
 3. The Soviets wait it out for a few weeks or months
until the crisis ends.
 The Cuban Missile Crisis is the perfect example of
brinkmanship: the willingness to go to the brink
or edge of war.
 Create your own political cartoon that expresses
brinkmanship during the Cold War. Make sure the
visuals and symbols you use help express a clear
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