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Kennedy made mistakes and clearly was challenged in his dealing with Khrushev.
In 1953, Joseph Stalin, leader of the Communist Party, died.After Stalin’s death, Nikita Khrushchev took over the Communist Party. He said that the Soviet Union would follow a policy of “peaceful coexistence” with the West.This “peace” was to continue until the early sixties, when new conflicts surfaced.In May 1960, Khrushchev began to ship ballistic missiles to Cuba and technicians to operate them.He believed that President Kennedy was weak and would not react to the Soviet move.A year later, the Soviet Union also tested a hydrogen bomb.Both countries developed rockets that had nuclear warheads.In the early 1960’s, new tensions arose between the United States and the USSR when Fidel Castro openly embraced communism and allied with the Soviet Union.Anastas Mikoyan, the Soviet First Deputy Prime Minister, negotiated this alliance.Increasing friction between the United States and the Soviet Union caused President Dwight D. This was the unofficial beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis. On April 14, 1961, a group of B-26 bombers, which were piloted by Cuban exiles, attacked air bases in Cuba.Before the ties were severed, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had been training Cuban exiles for a possible invasion of Cuba. This raid was designed to destroy most of Castro’s air power before the land invasion was to take place.