The Cuban Missile Crisis ended 50 years ago Sunday. There are still debates about the historical record, still attempts to gain full access to materials, and still disagreements about the consequences of the United States and the Soviet Union going to the brink over nuclear missiles and the small, relatively insignificant island. But the crisis mattered; its impact is still influential as it relates to US policy toward nuclear ambitions in Iran or North Korea today.
Since the crisis, the relationship between the United States and Cuba has remained static. Yet, as we were looking back at the 13-day standoff the past couple of weeks, Cuba raised a white flag, and we barely noticed. We should. Suddenly in 2012, Cuba is an issue once again.