As Kennedy put US troops on DEFCON 2 and Khrushchev nervously weighed the options he had, Che Guevara was playing a more literal kind of chess game. He spent his time sitting in a cave on the far west of the island, patiently waiting for the apocalypse to happen so he and his bearded comrades could fight it out on the burnt out street of Havana. Inevitably, the Cuban Missile Crisis, had the two superpowers clashed, would have had a disproportional effect on the island and it was a risk that Castro, along with his leading cast, was willing to take.
This is just one of the things I learnt from a quite fantastic little documentary entitled Clouds Over Cuba. Put together by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library with a respectable amount of humility, the forty minute film combines original footage, pictures and recordings from the 13-day fiasco that pushed humanity to the brink.
There is also an added bonus to the page which history geeks will just love. Hundreds of documents, recordings of meetings and additional photos have been collaborated saving you the journey to Washington D.C to see them up close. It even has a 10-minute film about what could have happened (to ruin it for you, New Orleans gets destroyed).
I recommend you watch it right now. You know, before Iran launches a bomb.
Click here to watch: www.cloudsovercuba.com