Definition of the Cuban missile crisis from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

the Cuban missile crisis

 
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a dangerous political situation that developed in 1962 between the US and USSR. President Kennedy became aware that there were Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba and sent the US Navy to stop Soviet ships from bringing more. It seemed possible that there would be a nuclear war between the two countries, but the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev ordered the Russian ships to turn back and later removed all of the weapons.