In 1962, Fidel Castro held secret meetings with the then Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev to protect his government and the Cubans from any aggression from its capitalist rival the United States.
Geographically, the Caribbean nation state of Cuba is located just 90 miles south of the state of Florida in the US.
According to an article ‘Fidel Castro, 1926-2016: Death of Last revolutionary’ published on the Israeli daily Haaretz website, world never came so close to a nuclear war before the 13-day Cuban Missile Crisis that lasted October 16-28, 1962.
The Soviets who were worried over the US deploying ballistic missiles in Italy and Turkey — bringing the USSR within the warheads’ comfortable range — grabbed the opportunity and agreed to supply Cuba with nuclear capable missiles thus further escalating the Cold War.
The US intelligence agencies managed to uncover the whole affair partly with the help from a diplomat spy in Israeli embassy in Havana and from its own spy planes that captured images, said the Haaretz article.
As the US got ready to prepare itself for any kind of eventuality emanating from Cuban side, Castro looked towards Russians and requested them to launch nuclear missiles on American soil if Cuba was invaded, Haaretz report said.
Russian leader Khrushchev first blinked in the eye-to-eye game and pulled out ballistic missiles from the communist state on a promise from the United States that it will never invade and occupy Cuba.
Since then, both Cuba and the US remained all-time foes until 2014 end when President Barack Obama proposed a thaw between the two neighbours.