60 Years Since the Cuban Missile Crisis

President Kennedy signs a proclamation formally putting into effect the U.S. Arms Quarantine against Cuba.

60 Years Since the Cuban Missile Crisis

Two world superpowers on the brink of nuclear war

The entire world anxiously watched as the two world superpowers seemed poised to enter a nuclear conflagration described in the book of Revelation. The United States and Russia seemed to be locked in a death spiral that could only end in exchanging nuclear blows. Just one thermonuclear weapon hitting a large city would instantly kill hundreds of thousands and millions more from radiation. One hundred nuclear missiles being launched, which is only a fraction of the arsenals available, would vaporize millions, destroy critical infrastructure, cause a nuclear famine, and slowly kill billions of people in the aftermath.

These were the prospects facing U.S. President John F. Kennedy in October 1962. U.S. Intelligence discovered that the Soviet Union was secretly installing offensive nuclear weapons on Communist Cuba, just 90 miles off the coast of Florida. These supersonic missiles could strike the U.S. mainland within minutes. For an entire week, 60 years ago, many thought World War iii was imminent. Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. commented this was the most dangerous moment in human history.

Over a dozen leaders and scholars have compared the peril of the Cuban Missile Crisis to the war in Ukraine, including Joe Biden. “For the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, we have a direct threat to the use of nuclear weapons, if in fact things continue down the path they’d been going,” Biden told Democratic donors in New York, according to a Reuters report. “[W]e have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

In late September, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened the use of nuclear weapons in the Ukraine conflict: “And if the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. This is not a bluff.” Putin has shown himself willing to use any means necessary and inflicting great evil to achieve his aims of resurrecting the Soviet Empire. In Putin’s mind, there is no cost too great to realize his vision of power.

This has caused many to fear a new age of nuclear war. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine makes at least one thing clear: It’s time for us to update how we think about nuclear weapons,” wrote Politico. “For the first time in the nuclear era, one country used loudly issued nuclear threats—repeated just last week—to deter other countries from intervening in a large-scale conventional war of aggression. We have entered the age of ‘predatory nuclear-weapon states.’”

Are we facing a Cuban Missile Crisis-level threat in Ukraine? Could nuclear war happen? The history of the Cuban Missile Crisis provides some important insights into the current nuclear tension. Most of all, Bible prophecy explains how this predatory nuclear age will play out. It does involve America, Cuba and Russia—but not in the way you might expect.

On Oct. 14, 1962, an American U-2 spy plane photographed a Soviet SS-4 medium ballistic missile being assembled in Cuba. Following the Communist revolution in Cuba, the regime of Fidel Castro had allied with the Soviet Union. Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev began a military buildup in Cuba, promising President Kennedy that only defensive weapons would be installed. This was a lie, and Khrushchev was caught secretly preparing for a surprise attack, or nuclear blackmail, of the United States.

These short- and medium-range ballistic missiles could hit any major American city, and as far north as Hudson Bay in Canada, in a matter of minutes. These could likely evade America’s missile-detection systems and provide the Soviet Union the option of a catastrophic first strike.

This discovery began several tense days of deliberation in the White House. The military, and most of Kennedy’s advisers, favored a full-scale invasion of Cuba to remove the Castro government and send a message to the Soviets. They viewed Cuba as a test of American resolve. President Kennedy believed that any American response could lead to nuclear war. Eventually the president decided to quarantine Cuba and enforce it with a naval blockade. Time wrote:

Had the president not insisted on a blockade, had he accepted the chief’s recommendations, also favored by the majority of his ExComm advisers, he unwittingly would have precipitated a nuclear war. As American troops assaulted the island, they would have confronted four times the 10,000 Soviet troops the [Central Intelligence Agency] estimated in Cuba, and they would have been massacred by an array of Soviet tactical nuclear weapons that American intelligence had not discovered.

President Kennedy addressed the nation on October 22, explaining the situation to the American people. Some believed nuclear war was imminent and began hoarding food and gas. The U.S. Navy established a quarantine zone around the island as the world awaited the Soviet response.

President Kennedy also issued an ultimatum that the Soviets immediately remove the missiles from Cuba. Behind the scenes Soviet and American officials were trading correspondence during the crisis. On October 24, a Soviet ship approached the quarantine zone but changed course at the last second. On October 27, the Soviets shot down a U-2 spy plane over Cuba piloted by Maj. Rudolf Anderson; hours later the U.S. Navy forced the Soviet submarine B-59 to surface. This uncovered a larger Soviet scheme of establishing a submarine base at Mariel Bay in Cuba. Unknown at the time was that each Soviet Foxtrot submarine, such as B-59, carried a nuclear-tipped torpedo. In fact, B-59 came close to firing the torpedo—nuclear disaster had been narrowly averted.

Once it became clear that the Soviets had lost the element of surprise, they pursued back-channel negotiations. History writes:

[O]n October 26, Khrushchev sent a message to Kennedy in which he offered to remove the Cuban missiles in exchange for a promise by U.S. leaders not to invade Cuba. The following day, the Soviet leader sent a letter proposing that the ussr would dismantle its missiles in Cuba if the Americans removed their missile installations in Turkey.

Officially, the Kennedy administration decided to accept the terms of the first message and ignore the second Khrushchev letter entirely. Privately, however, American officials also agreed to withdraw their nation’s missiles from Turkey. U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy (1925–68) personally delivered the message to the Soviet ambassador in Washington, and on October 28, the crisis drew to a close.

The crisis lasted 13 days. The Soviets removed all 42 missiles, and Cuba was guaranteed to remain a sanctuary for the Communist Castro regime. The prospect of nuclear war abated, but it had exposed how strategically important Cuba is to the security of the United States. The Soviet Union had been able to install ballistic missiles, long-range bombers and a potential submarine base, all of which could deliver a nuclear payload.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry exposes this strategic weakness in Great Again and explains how Cuba is the perfect launch point for a surprise attack on America:

The Soviets wanted to deploy and activate their missiles in Cuba without America finding out. With supersonic nuclear missiles only minutes away from America’s cities, the Soviets could evade America’s missile warning system and launch a surprise attack. I believe there is ample evidence that the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev would have attempted to destroy America at that time. What if Khrushchev had achieved his secret plan to surprise America? He would probably never have a better opportunity to conquer America—and he knew it! …

Would Russia have been so suicidal to risk a nuclear World War iii, in the hands of Fidel Castro, if it had not planned an imminent attack on America? After all, Khrushchev did say that the Soviets would “bury” us. At the very least, the Soviet Union would have had the U.S. at nuclear gunpoint. America’s foreign policy would have been neutralized.

If the Soviet plan for Cuba had been successful, Khrushchev could use nuclear blackmail to expand Soviet territory or attempt a nuclear attack.

“The Cuban Missile Crisis turned out to be a victory for America, a victory that could have easily been a crushing defeat,” Mr. Flurry continues. “But it proved how strategic the Cuban islands are for anyone who wants to harm the U.S. With modern weapons, an enemy force could easily and quickly strike America’s military and its cities.”

This is where history and prophecy combine to give a clear picture on the future of nuclear conflict in the world.

There is no reason to believe that Vladimir Putin will not use tactical nuclear weapons. If the Pandora’s box of tactical nuclear weapons is opened in Ukraine, it will embolden many rogue nations to use nuclear weapons to achieve their policy objectives.

The Bible clearly states that there will not be a nuclear conflict between Russia and the U.S.; however, Cuba could be used to launch a nuclear attack against the U.S. This attack will be a monstrous betrayal by a German-led European resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Bible prophesies that in the final days of America, just before Jesus Christ returns, the enemies of the United States will form an economic partnership excluding America and the British Commonwealth. This economic framework is forming right now. This Isaiah 23 “mart of nations” will lay an economic siege on America (Ezekiel 4:1-8; Deuteronomy 28:52). This will primarily be Russia, China and the Holy Roman Empire. In the years ahead, Cuba will enter into Europe’s orbit.

Mr. Flurry continues in Great Again:

The German-led European Union is the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire—that same Holy Roman Empire which, centuries ago, used Cuba so powerfully to fuel its wars. If the present resurrection were to move into Cuba again, it would be well positioned to carry out these kinds of attacks. The advantage is that it can do so within a cloak of secrecy, since Cuba is essentially a police state with tight controls on information. Think of the control that it could have. Think of how valuable Cuba has been to America’s enemies in the past! You need to watch what is happening in Cuba.

The Bible clearly shows that this European power will launch a nuclear attack on America and the British Commonwealth! The real nuclear threat to America emanates from Europe. The war in Ukraine and Putin’s nuclear threats are only accelerating the formation of this dangerous European superstate.

We live in a dangerous new age of nuclear war. The Bible reveals the ominous future in stark detail, yet it also offers a vision of hope and God’s solution to this perilous time. Before mankind commits cosmocide, Jesus Christ will return and establish a new world of peace and prosperity.

To learn more about what’s ahead, please read Great Again and The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy.