American Relations With Cuba Essay Research Paper

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American Relations With Cuba Essay, Research Paper America s Relations with Cuba The island nation of Cuba, located just ninety miles off the coast of Florida, is home to 11 million people and has one of the few remaining communist regimes in the world. Fidel Castro came to power in 1959 and immediately instituted a communist program of economic and social changes. Castro allied his government with the Soviet Union and seized billions of dollars of American Property. The United States and Cuba have shared a long history of mutual mistrust and suspicion ever since. A trade embargo against Cuba was imposed in 1960 and is still in place today. Despite economic suffering and increasing isolation from the world community, Castro remains committed to communism.(Comptons) During the

first half of this century, Cuba resembled a United States colony. Wealthy Americans vacationed at Cuba s beaches, while the majority of the island s population lived in poverty. The pro-American dictator Fulgencio Batista ruled for almost twenty years before being overthrown by Fidel Castro s communist revolution in 1959. Cuba s turn to Communism raised serious problems for its neighbors in the Americas. Castro had repeatedly criticized the United States in long speeches at rallies in Cuba. He frequently charged that the United States was plotting to invade Cuba.(Niess) During the first two years of Castro s rule in Cuba, the other governments in the Western Hemisphere attempted to maintain friendly relations with their neighbor. On January 3, 1961, however, United States

president Dwight D. Eisenhower broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba after Castro charged that the United States Embassy in Havana was the center of counterrevolutionary activities. Eisenhower also canceled the United States sugar imports and imposed a total export embargo that seriously damaged the Cuban economy.(Niess) Cuban refugees who had escaped from the island during Castro s communist rule, clung to their hope that with outside help, the Communist government in Cuba could be overthrown. The exiles carried out hit-and-run raids on Cuban ports and trained for an invasion, which was planned by the United States CIA. On April 17, 1961, a force of 1,500 Cuban exiles landed at the Bay of Pigs, some 90 miles southeast of Havana. Their attempt to liberate the island failed,

and more than 1,100 of the invaders were taken prisoner.(Vandenbroucke) In February 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed an embargo on United States trade with Cuba. Castro then signed a 700-milion-dollar trade agreement with the Soviet Union. After mid-July, shipments of goods from the Soviet Union were not limited to peacetime products. Freighters entered Cuban ports loaded with military equipment and supplies. Transports brought thousands of Soviets to the island, but Soviet spokesmen gave assurances that the armaments were defensive and that only Soviet technicians, not military personnel, were being sent to the island.(Comptons) On October 22, 1962, President Kennedy announced to America that photographs taken by reconnaissance planes showed that Soviet atomic-missile sites

were being built in Cuba. The missiles, already in place, according to Kennedy, had range of 1,000 miles. Sites for intermediate-range missiles were also under construction. The Soviet jet bombers, that were already in Cuba, were also capable of carrying nuclear weapons.(Comptons) Kennedy charged that the presence of these weapons constituted a threat to the security of the nations of the Western Hemisphere and violated the Rio Treaty of 1947. He demanded the missiles and bombers be removed, and announced the United States was imposing a quarantine on ship carrying offensive military equipment to Cuba. He warned that an aggressive act from Cuba would be regarded as an attack by the Soviet Union and the United States would retaliate with nuclear force.(Comptons) A week of