U.S. and Cuba: Finally Defrosting from the Cold War


Ius Gentium

Annielle Makon

Historical Background 

The tumultuous U.S.-Cuba relationship has its roots during the Cold War. In 1959, Fidel Castro and a group of revolutionaries seized power in Havana, overthrowing President Fulgencio Batista.[1] The United States recognized Castro’s government, despite misgivings about his communist political ideology.[2]  However, by 1960, tension between Cuba and the United States grew when Cuba increased trade with the Soviet Union and increased taxes on American imports.[3] The United States retaliated by slashing Cuban sugar imports, and then imposing a ban on nearly all exports to Cuba.[4] President Kennedy then issued a full economic embargo that included travel restrictions.[5] By 1961, the United States had severed all diplomatic ties with Cuba and attempted to overthrow the Castro regime through covert operations.[6] The Bay of Pigs invasion has been widely regarded as a botched CIA back attempt to overthrow the government…

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