After more than 50 years of what can only be described bitterly antagonistic relations between the United States and Cuba, in July 2015 President Obama finally oversaw the resumption of diplomatic ties. But now, after a series of dramatic incidents allegedly involving injury to U.S. diplomats in Cuba, this new-found friendship has been strained to breaking point.
Cuba’s stormy relationship with the United States dates back to 1959 when forces led by Fidel Castro took the country’s capital, forcing the dictator Fulgencio Batista to flee into exile in Portugal. In fact, at first, the United States favored the Castro-led revolution. It was believed that this might herald a new era of democracy in Latin America.
However, the honeymoon was to prove short-lived. Castro legitimized the Communist Party in Cuba, there were large-scale expropriations of agricultural land, and many people were executed by the Communist regime. Consequently, the United States embarked on a policy of increasing stringent economic sanctions against its Caribbean neighbor. In retaliation, Cuba signed an economic treaty with the Soviet Union, America’s principal Cold War protagonist.