US - Cuban relations from the Cold War to the Presentby Rit Nosotro
Change Over Time essay
Describe US - Cuban relations from the Cold War to the Present
The term Cold War was first coined by Walter Lippmann in 1947, and has come to represent the time period between World War II and the late 1980s. What Mr. Lippmann meant was that even though actual war was never declared, relations between the Western Bloc, (United States and its allies) and the Eastern Bloc, (the USSR and its allies) reflected a hostile, wartime attitude. Throughout this period, the USSR attempted to spread communism throughout the world, through military action and subversion, via intelligence operatives such as supplied by the KGB, and through the use of political and economic backing, as was the case with Cuba. This prompted the United States to begin a campaign to oppose communism, which was supported by the military and financial backing of allies, and to counter the Soviet Union’s judicious use of intelligence operatives.
Entering to the Cold War, Cuba was governed by Fulgencio Batista in 1944. Batista had been elected President, but his government was marked by corruption and scandals, leading to his defeat in the next election. After several years, Batista seized control again, freezing the elections and ruling by decree. Up until this point, the United States had had good relations with Cuba, which began when it freed Cuba during the Spanish-American War. However, Fidel Castro began to grow tired of Batista’s rule. After numerous attempts to depose Batista, Castro fled into the mountains, and, with his associate Che Guevara, began a campaign of guerrilla warfare against the Cuban government. Distressed by the ineffectiveness of his military, and angry at the United States for its embargo against selling Cuba weapons, Batista fled Cuba in 1959. Fidel Castro assumed control of Cuba, and in 1961 created a Soviet style government which became Cuba's Social Darwinism. Many in the USA felt saw similarites in "losing" Cuba and China to Communism.
Soon after assuming control, Fidel Castro seized most, if not all, American business interests in Cuba, most prominently those of the International Telephone and Telegraph Company and the United Fruit Company. In response, the United States broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba, and enacted a trade embargo in 1961 that is still in place to this day. The embargo crushed the Cuban economy, and the United States hoped it would soon lead to a reorganization of the government. However, the USSR stepped in and began to finance Cuba’s economy, and by the 1980s accounted for over 60% of Cuba’s imports and exports. When the United States saw that the economic approach would not cripple Cuba, it turned to a military option. The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had been training Cuban refugees for an invasion, which now seemed to be the best option. Preceded by several refugees using US planes from Cuban airfields, the invasion landed 1,500 Cubans on the shore to begin a campaign against Castro. However, the Cuban military was forewarned, and annihilated the all of the invasion force. This incident only served to strengthen Castro’s position in Cuba, and degraded already low relations with the United States.
The tensions between Cuba and the US reached a boiling point in 1962. In order to protect the country from further US attacks, Cuba sought military and economic help from the USSR. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev agreed to help, and the USSR began to secretly construct missile launch sites on Cuba. The missiles the USSR sent to these launch sites in Cuba had nuclear payloads, and each missile was capable of hitting the United States. In September 1962, a US spy plane sighted the missile silos, and reported back to the military. On October 22, President Kennedy announced a complete naval blockade of Cuba, and warned that any ship crossing the blockade would be destroyed. For almost a week, nuclear war looked unavoidable, until, in a world wide radio broadcast, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev stated that the USSR would remove the missiles if the US promised not to invade Cuba. Another condition was that the US would remove missile sites from Turkey. Following compliance by both the US and USSR, the crisis was resolved, and the missiles were removed from Cuba.
Nothing in the same league as the missile crisis occurred in Cuba until 1989, when the USSR dissolved. Without the support from the USSR, the Cuban economy began to fail. Desperate, Castro opened Cuba to tourism, even allowing US citizens to visit. Their dependence on Russia had been too great, however, and the Cuban economy began to decline. In addition, they began to amass a huge amount of debt, which they have yet to pay. Castro was so desperate that, when Bill Clinton was elected US President, he began to hint that relations could be improved between the two countries. The US government responded by strengthening the embargo against Cuba, hoping to cause the country to cave in within several months. Castro countered by allowing the US dollar to be used in Cuba, and while this did not improve the economy, it kept the country afloat. One more incident that degraded US Cuban relations was the rescue of Elián González, a young Cuban boy found floating in the ocean by fisherman in 1999. Elián stayed with relatives in the United States, and those relatives hoped to have him stay. However, Castro demanded that Elián be returned, and soon after Elián was removed by force from his relatives and returned to Cuba.
Entering into the Cold War, Cuba still enjoyed relatively good relations with the United States, but upon the endorsement of communism, the US responded fiercely. To this day, relations with Cuba remain hostile, and have actually worsened in recent years.
CIA world factbook
Additional information about <http://hyperhistory.net/apwh/essays/cot/t4w30uscuba.htm>
The above essay was donated to hyperhistory.net.
of inaccuracies or plagiarism.
Post a link to this essay,
a great essay
on your blog or website :
|Comparative Essays||Biographies||Doc. Based Questions||Change Over Time|