Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Nuclear Threats, Propaganda and Human Rights: Resources

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Nuclear Threats, Propaganda and Human Rights: Resources

Article excerpt


Cold War got too hot

The Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba is an example of what can go wrong when Western countries attempt to overthrow questionable regimes making bellicose pronouncements.

The invasion force, known as Brigade 2506, was a paramilitary group of 1,400 Cuban exiles, trained and funded by the US Central Intelligence Agency. On 17 April 1961, they travelled by boat from Guatemala to Cuba's Bay of Pigs, in an attempt to overthrow revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. But they were defeated by Cuban armed forces within three days.

The failure was a major embarrassment for the US government. It also strengthened Castro's regime and deepened his resolve to adopt socialism and strengthen ties with the Soviet Union.

This led to the Cuban Missile Crisis the following year, which was one of the major confrontations of the Cold War and the closest the world has ever come to nuclear war.

In July 1962, US surveillance confirmed that the Soviet Union had placed missiles in Cuba. The US retaliated by imposing a military blockade to stop further weapons being delivered. The missile crisis was resolved only after a tense 13-day stand-off, which ended on 28 October. The Soviets agreed to dismantle their weapons in Cuba; the US issued assurances that it would not invade Cuba and agreed to dismantle nuclear missiles in Turkey and Italy.


Start a debate about nuclear weapons and warfare using a prompting sheet from the UK Institute of Physics (iop).

Introduce your students to the Bay of Pigs Invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis with a documentary from TESConnect partner Khan Academy.

Try human rights resources from TESConnect partner Amnesty International, including lesson plans and case studies.

Refresh students' knowledge of statistics and probability using revision notes by TESConnect maths adviser Craig Barton (MrBartonMaths).


Born out of the statistics

Helping students to identify with the moral and ethical dilemmas of the developing world is never easy. And many would doubt that this could be achieved through mathematics. But TESConnect partner Amnesty International has created lessons that weave statistics and human rights together.

In a lesson entitled Dying to Give Birth, 15- and 16-year-old students are shown a film about the high number of women who die during childbirth in Sierra Leone. …

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