On October 22, 1962, U.S. President John F. Kennedy announced a “quarantine” of Cuba, in retaliation for the discovery of Soviet nuclear weapon facilities on the island a week earlier. This brought the conflict known as the Cuban Missile Crisis to a diplomatic height.
 
Kennedy and his advisers (including Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who chronicled the Cuban Missile Crisis in his book Thirteen Days) made sure to announce a “quarantine” and not a “blockade” of Cuba. 
 
A blockade prevents all trade and travel from taking place around a specific area. A blockade is officially an act of war, and the Kennedy administration did not want to directly confront the Soviet Union. A quarantine only prevented “all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba.” U.S. Navy ships were deployed around Cuba to prevent Soviet freighters from delivering nuclear missiles or the material to maintain and launch them.
 
The Cuban Missile Crisis ended less than a week later. The Soviet Union agreed to withdraw all missiles from Cuba, while the United States agreed to withdraw all missiles from Turkey (which bordered the Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan).
administration
Noun

responsibilities and policies of the executive branch of the United States government, led by a president, his or her cabinet, and his or her advisers.

adviser
Noun

person who offers informed advice about an issue.

announce
Verb

to proclaim or make known publicly.

blockade
Noun

military isolation of a specific area.

border
Verb

to exist on the edge of a boundary.

chronicle
Verb

to report.

conflict
Noun

a disagreement or fight, usually over ideas or procedures.

confront
Verb

to address a problem or person directly.

deploy
Verb

to move military troops, support personnel, and equipment.

diplomatic
Adjective

skillful and respectful in dealing with people or communities.

discovery
Noun

something seen, documented, or noticed for the first time.

equipment
Noun

tools and materials to perform a task or function.

freighter
Noun

large ship used for carrying heavy cargo, or freight.

military
Noun

armed forces.

nuclear weapon
Noun

explosive device that draws power from the splitting and combining of atomic nuclei.

offensive
Adjective

invading or attacking, not defending.

quarantine
Noun

enforced isolation, usually to prevent the spread of disease.

republic
Noun

system of government where power rests in citizens who vote and representatives who stand for those citizens. The United States is a republic.

retaliation
Noun

reprisal, or an act taken in response to an injury or offense.

Soviet Union
Noun

(1922-1991) large northern Eurasian nation that had a communist government. Also called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or the USSR.

trade
Noun

buying, selling, or exchanging of goods and services.

travel
Noun

movement from one place to another.

war
Noun

large-scale armed conflict.

withdraw
Verb

to remove or retract.