Cuba–United States relations
|Cuban Embassy, Washington, D.C.||United States Embassy, Havana|
|Ambassador José Rodríguez||Chargé d'affaires Philip Goldberg|
Cuba and the United States restored diplomatic relations on 20 July 2015, which had been severed in 1961 during the Cold War. U.S. diplomatic representation in Cuba is handled by the United States Embassy in Havana, and there is a similar Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C.. The United States, however, continues to maintain its commercial, economic, and financial embargo, which makes it illegal for U.S. corporations to do business with Cuba. Leaders in both houses of Congress as well as President Donald Trump support the embargo, although the Cuban government has called for it to be repealed.
The hold of the Spanish Empire on possessions in the Americas was reduced in the 1820s as a result of the Spanish American wars of independence; only Cuba and Puerto Rico remained under Spanish rule until the Spanish–American War (1898) that resulted from the Cuban War of Independence. Under the Treaty of Paris, Cuba became a U.S. protectorate; the U.S. gained a position of economic and political dominance over the island, which persisted after it became formally independent in 1902.
Following the Cuban Revolution of 1959, bilateral relations deteriorated substantially. In 1961, the U.S. severed diplomatic ties with Cuba and began pursuing covert operations to topple the Communist regime. Moreover, the U.S. imposed and subsequently tightened a comprehensive set of restrictions and bans vis-à-vis the Cuban regime as retaliation for the nationalization of U.S. corporations' property by Cuba. Meanwhile, several organizations, including a nearly unanimous United Nations General Assembly, have called for "an end to the United States' decades-long economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba."
On 17 December 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced the beginning of a process of normalizing relations between Cuba and the U.S., which media sources have named "the Cuban Thaw". Negotiated in secret in Canada and Vatican City over preceding months, and with the assistance of Pope Francis, the agreement led to the lifting of some U.S. travel restrictions, fewer restrictions on remittances, U.S. banks access to the Cuban financial system, and the establishment of a U.S. embassy in Havana, which closed after Cuba became closely allied with the USSR in 1961. The countries' respective "interests sections" in one another's capitals were upgraded to embassies on 20 July 2015. On 20 March 2016, President Barack Obama visited Cuba, becoming the first President in 88 years to visit the island.
On June 16, 2017 President Donald Trump announced that he was suspending the policy for unconditional sanctions relief for Cuba, while also leaving the door open for a "better deal" between the US and Cuba.
- 1 Historical background
- 2 Trade relations
- 3 Guantánamo Bay
- 4 U.S. public opinion on Cuba–United States relations
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
Relations between the Spanish colony of Cuba and polities on the North American mainland first established themselves in the early 18th century through illicit commercial contracts by the European colonies of the New World, trading to elude colonial taxes. As both legal and illegal trade increased, Cuba became a comparatively prosperous trading partner in the region, and a center of tobacco and sugar production. During this period Cuban merchants increasingly traveled to North American ports, establishing trade contracts that endured for many years. The British occupation of Havana in 1762 opened up trade with the British colonies in North America, and the rebellion of the thirteen colonies in 1776 provided additional trade opportunities. Spain opened Cuban ports to North American commerce officially in November 1776 and the island became increasingly dependent on that trade.
After the opening of the island to world trade in 1818, trade agreements began to replace Spanish commercial connections. In 1820 Thomas Jefferson thought Cuba is "the most interesting addition which could ever be made to our system of States" and told Secretary of War John C. Calhoun that the United States "ought, at the first possible opportunity, to take Cuba." In a letter to the U.S. Minister to Spain Hugh Nelson, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams described the likelihood of U.S. "annexation of Cuba" within half a century despite obstacles: "But there are laws of political as well as of physical gravitation; and if an apple severed by the tempest from its native tree cannot choose but fall to the ground, Cuba, forcibly disjoined from its own unnatural connection with Spain, and incapable of self support, can gravitate only towards the North American Union, which by the same law of nature cannot cast her off from its bosom."
In August 1851, 40 Americans who took part in Narciso López's filibustering expedition in Cuba, including William L. Crittenden, were executed by Spanish authorities in Havana. In 1854, a secret proposal known as the Ostend Manifesto was devised by U.S. diplomats, interested in adding a slave state to the Union. The Manifesto proposed buying Cuba from Spain for $130 million. If Spain were to reject the offer, the Manifesto implied that, in the name of Manifest Destiny, war would be necessary. When the plans became public, because of one author's vocal enthusiasm for the plan, the manifesto caused a scandal, and was rejected, in part because of objections from anti-slavery campaigners.
By 1877, Americans purchased 83 percent of Cuba's total exports. North Americans were also increasingly taking up residence on the island, and some districts on the northern shore were said to have more the character of America than Spanish settlements. Between 1878 and 1898 American investors took advantage of deteriorating economic conditions of the Ten Years' War to take over estates they had tried unsuccessfully to buy before while others acquired properties at very low prices. Above all this presence facilitated the integration of the Cuban economy into the North American system and weakened Cuba's ties with Spain.
Independence in Cuba
As Cuban resistance to Spanish rule grew, rebels fighting for independence attempted to get support from U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant. Grant declined and the resistance was curtailed, though American interests in the region continued. U.S. Secretary of State James G. Blaine wrote in 1881 of Cuba, "that rich island, the key to the Gulf of Mexico, and the field for our most extended trade in the Western Hemisphere, is, though in the hands of Spain, a part of the American commercial system... If ever ceasing to be Spanish, Cuba must necessarily become American and not fall under any other European domination."
After some rebel successes in Cuba's second war of independence in 1897, U.S. President William McKinley offered to buy Cuba for $300 million. Rejection of the offer, and an explosion that sank the American battleship USS Maine in Havana harbor, led to the Spanish–American War. In Cuba the war became known as "the U.S. intervention in Cuba's War of Independence". On the 10th December 1898 Spain and the United States signed the Treaty of Paris and, in accordance with the treaty, Spain renounced all rights to Cuba. The treaty put an end to the Spanish Empire in the Americas and marked the beginning of United States expansion and long-term political dominance in the region. Immediately after the signing of the treaty, the U.S.-owned "Island of Cuba Real Estate Company" opened for business to sell Cuban land to Americans. U.S. military rule of the island lasted until 1902 when Cuba was finally granted formal independence.
The Teller Amendment to the U.S. declaration of war against Spain in 1898 disavowed any intention of exercising "sovereignty, jurisdiction or control" over Cuba, but the United States only agreed to withdraw its troops from Cuba when Cuba agreed to the eight provisions of the Platt Amendment, an amendment to the 1901 Army Appropriations Act authored by Connecticut Republican Senator Orville H. Platt, which would allow the United States to intervene in Cuban affairs if needed for the maintenance of good government and committed Cuba to lease to the U.S. land for naval bases. Cuba leased to the United States the southern portion of Guantánamo Bay, where a United States Naval Station had been established in 1898. The Platt Amendment defined the terms of Cuban-U.S. relations for the following 33 years and provided the legal basis for U.S. military interventions with varying degrees of support from Cuban governments and political parties.
Despite recognizing Cuba's transition into an independent republic, United States Governor Charles Edward Magoon assumed temporary military rule for three more years following a rebellion led in part by José Miguel Gómez. In the following 20 years the United States repeatedly intervened militarily in Cuban affairs: 1906–09, 1912 and 1917–22. In 1912 U.S. forces were sent to quell protests by Afro-Cubans against discrimination.
By 1926 U.S. companies owned 60% of the Cuban sugar industry and imported 95% of the total Cuban crop, and Washington was generally supportive of successive Cuban governments. However, internal confrontations between the government of Gerardo Machado and political opposition led to his military overthrow by Cuban rebels in 1933. U.S. Ambassador Sumner Welles requested U.S. military intervention. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, despite his promotion of the Good Neighbor policy toward Latin America, ordered 29 warships to Cuba and Key West, alerting United States Marines, and bombers for use if necessary. Machado's replacement, Ramón Grau assumed the Presidency and immediately nullified the Platt amendment. In protest, the United States denied recognition to Grau's government, Ambassador Welles describing the new regime as "communistic" and "irresponsible".
The rise of General Fulgencio Batista in the 1930s to de facto leader and President of Cuba for two terms (1940–44 and 1952–59) led to an era of close co-operation between the governments of Cuba and the United States. The United States and Cuba signed another Treaty of Relations in 1934. Batista's second term as President was initiated by a military coup planned in Florida, and U.S. President Harry S. Truman quickly recognized Batista's return to rule providing military and economic aid. The Batista era witnessed the almost complete domination of Cuba's economy by the United States, as the number of American corporations continued to swell, though corruption was rife and Havana also became a popular sanctuary for American organized crime figures, notably hosting the infamous Havana Conference in 1946. U.S. Ambassador to Cuba Arthur Gardner later described the relationship between the U.S. and Batista during his second term as President:
Batista had always leaned toward the United States. I don't think we ever had a better friend. It was regrettable, like all South Americans, that he was known—although I had no absolute knowledge of it—to be getting a cut, I think is the word for it, in almost all the things that were done. But, on the other hand, he was doing an amazing job.
As armed conflict broke out in Cuba between rebels led by Fidel Castro and the Batista government, the U.S. was urged to end arms sales to Batista by Cuban president-in-waiting Manuel Urrutia Lleó. Washington made the critical move in March 1958 to prevent sales of rifles to Batista's forces, thus changing the course of the revolution irreversibly towards the rebels. The move was vehemently opposed by U.S. ambassador Earl E. T. Smith, and led U.S. State Department adviser William Wieland to lament that "I know Batista is considered by many as a son of a bitch... but American interests come first... at least he was our son of a bitch."
Until Castro, the U.S. was so overwhelmingly influential in Cuba that the American ambassador was the second most important man, sometimes even more important than the Cuban president.
U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially recognized the new Cuban government after the 1959 Cuban Revolution which had overthrown the Batista government, but relations between the two governments deteriorated rapidly. Within days Earl E. T. Smith, U.S. Ambassador to Cuba, was replaced by Philip Bonsal. The U.S. government became increasingly concerned by Cuba's agrarian reforms and the nationalization of industries owned by U.S. citizens. Between 15 and 26 April 1959, Fidel Castro and a delegation of representatives visited the U.S. as guests of the Press Club. This visit was perceived by many as a charm offensive on the part of Castro and his recently initiated government, and his visit included laying a wreath at the Lincoln memorial. After a meeting between Castro and Vice-President Richard Nixon, where Castro outlined his reform plans for Cuba, the U.S. began to impose gradual trade restrictions on the island. On 4 September 1959, Ambassador Bonsal met with Cuban Premier Fidel Castro to express “serious concern at the treatment being given to American private interests in Cuba both agriculture and utilities.”
The Escambray rebellion was a six-year rebellion (1959–1965) in the Escambray Mountains by a group of insurgents who opposed the Cuban government led by Fidel Castro. The rebelling group of insurgents was a mix of former Batista soldiers, local farmers, and former allied guerrillas who had fought alongside Castro against Batista during the Cuban Revolution. As state intervention and take-over of privately owned businesses continued, trade restrictions on Cuba increased. The U.S. stopped buying Cuban sugar and refused to supply its former trading partner with much needed oil, with a devastating effect on the island's economy, leading to Cuba turning to their newfound trading partner the Soviet Union for petroleum. In March 1960, tensions increased when the freighter La Coubre exploded in Havana Harbor, killing over 75 people. Fidel Castro blamed the United States and compared the incident to the sinking of the Maine, though admitting he could provide no evidence for his accusation. That same month, President Eisenhower quietly authorized the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to organize, train, and equip Cuban refugees as a guerrilla force to overthrow Castro.
Each time the Cuban government nationalized American citizens properties, the American government took countermeasures, resulting in the prohibition of all exports to Cuba on 19 October 1960. Consequently, Cuba began to consolidate trade relations with the USSR, leading the U.S. to break off all remaining official diplomatic relations. Later that year, U.S. diplomats Edwin L. Sweet and William G. Friedman were arrested and expelled from the island having been charged with "encouraging terrorist acts, granting asylum, financing subversive publications and smuggling weapons”. On 3 January 1961 the U.S. withdrew diplomatic recognition of the Cuban government and closed the embassy in Havana.
Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy believed that Eisenhower's policy toward Cuba had been mistaken. He criticized what he saw as use of the U.S. government influence to advance the interest and increase the profits of private U.S. companies instead of helping Cuba to achieve economic progress, saying that Americans dominated the island's economy and had given support to one of the bloodiest and most repressive dictatorships in the history of Latin America. "We let Batista put the U.S. on the side of tyranny, and we did nothing to convince the people of Cuba and Latin America that we wanted to be on the side of freedom".
In 1961 Cuba resisted an armed invasion by about 1,500 CIA trained Cuban exiles at the Bay of Pigs. President John F. Kennedy's complete assumption of responsibility for the venture, which provoked a popular reaction against the invaders, proved to be a further propaganda boost for the Cuban government. The U.S. began the formulation of new plans aimed at destabilizing the Cuban government. These activities were collectively known as the “Cuban Project” (also known as Operation Mongoose). This was to be a coordinated program of political, psychological, and military sabotage, involving intelligence operations as well as assassination attempts on key political leaders. The Cuban project also proposed attacks on mainland U.S. targets, hijackings and assaults on Cuban refugee boats to generate U.S. public support for military action against the Cuban government, these proposals were known collectively as Operation Northwoods.
A U.S. Senate Select Intelligence Committee report later confirmed over eight attempted plots to kill Castro between 1960 and 1965, as well as additional plans against other Cuban leaders. After weathering the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, Cuba observed as U.S. armed forces staged a mock invasion of a Caribbean island in 1962 named Operation Ortsac. The purpose of the invasion was to overthrow a leader whose name, Ortsac, was Castro spelled backwards. Tensions between the two nations reached their peak in 1962, after U.S. reconnaissance aircraft photographed the Soviet construction of intermediate-range missile sites. The discovery led to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Trade relations also deteriorated in equal measure. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy broadened the partial trade restrictions imposed after the revolution by Eisenhower to a ban on all trade with Cuba, except for non-subsidized sale of foods and medicines. A year later travel and financial transactions by U.S. citizens with Cuba was prohibited. The United States embargo against Cuba was to continue in varying forms.
Relations began to thaw during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s tenure continuing through the next decade and a half. In 1964 Fidel Castro sent a message to Johnson encouraging dialogue, he wrote:
I seriously hope that Cuba and the United States can eventually respect and negotiate our differences. I believe that there are no areas of contention between us that cannot be discussed and settled within a climate of mutual understanding. But first, of course, it is necessary to discuss our differences. I now believe that this hostility between Cuba and the United States is both unnatural and unnecessary – and it can be eliminated.
Through the late 1960s and early 1970s a sustained period of aircraft hijackings between Cuba and the U.S. by citizens of both nations led to a need for cooperation. By 1974, U.S. elected officials had begun to visit the island. Three years later, during the Carter administration, the U.S. and Cuba simultaneously opened interests sections in each other's capitals. In 1980, after 10,000 Cubans crammed into the Peruvian embassy seeking political asylum, Castro stated that any who wished to do so could leave Cuba, in what became known as the Mariel boatlift. Approximately 125,000 people left Cuba for the United States.
In 1977, Cuba and the United States signed a maritime boundary treaty in which the countries agreed on the location of their border in the Straits of Florida. The treaty was never sent to the United States Senate for ratification, but the agreement has been implemented by the U.S. State Department.
In 1981 President Ronald Reagan’s new administration announced a tightening of the embargo. The U.S. also re-established the travel ban, prohibiting U.S. citizens from spending money in Cuba. The ban was later supplemented to include Cuban government officials or their representatives visiting the U.S. In 1985 Radio y Televisión Martí, backed by Ronald Reagan’s administration, began to broadcast news and information from the U.S. to Cuba.
After the Cold War
The Cold War ended with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early-1990s, leaving Cuba without its major international sponsor. The ensuing years were marked by economic difficulty in Cuba, a time known as the Special Period. U.S. law allowed private humanitarian aid to Cuba for part of this time. However, the long standing U.S. embargo was reinforced in October 1992 by the Cuban Democracy Act (the "Torricelli Law") and in 1996 by the Cuban Liberty and Democracy Solidarity Act (known as the Helms-Burton Act). The 1992 act prohibited foreign-based subsidiaries of U.S. companies from trading with Cuba, travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens, and family remittances to Cuba. Sanctions could also be applied to non-U.S. companies trading with Cuba. As a result, multinational companies had to choose between Cuba and the U.S., the latter being a much larger market.
On 24 February 1996, two unarmed Cessna 337s flown by the group "Brothers to the Rescue" were shot down by Cuban Air Force MiG-29, killing three Cuban-Americans and one Cuban U.S. resident. The Cuban government claimed that the planes had entered into Cuban airspace.
Some veterans of CIA's 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, while no longer being sponsored by the CIA, are still active, though they are now in their seventies or older. Members of Alpha 66, an anti-Castro paramilitary organization, continue to practice their AK-47 skills in a camp in South Florida.
In January 1999, U.S. President Bill Clinton eased travel restrictions to Cuba in an effort to increase cultural exchanges between the two nations. The Clinton administration approved a two-game exhibition series between the Baltimore Orioles and Cuban national baseball team, marking the first time a Major League Baseball team played in Cuba since 1959.
At the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000, Castro and Clinton spoke briefly at a group photo session and shook hands. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan commented afterwards, “For a U.S. president and a Cuban president to shake hands for the first time in over 40 years—I think it is a major symbolic achievement". While Castro said it was a gesture of "dignity and courtesy", the White House denied the encounter was of any significance. In November 2001, U.S. companies began selling food to the country for the first time since Washington imposed the trade embargo after the revolution. In 2002, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter became the first former or sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba since 1928.
Relations deteriorated again following the election of George W. Bush. During his campaign Bush appealed for the support of Cuban-Americans by emphasizing his opposition to the government of Fidel Castro and supporting tighter embargo restrictions Cuban Americans, who until 2008 tended to vote Republican, expected effective policies and greater participation in the formation of policies regarding Cuba-U.S. relations. Approximately three months after his inauguration, the Bush administration began expanding travel restrictions. The United States Department of the Treasury issued greater efforts to deter American citizens from illegally traveling to the island. Also in 2001, five Cuban agents were convicted on 26 counts of espionage, conspiracy to commit murder, and other illegal activities in the United States. On 15 June 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of their case. Tensions heightened as the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, John R. Bolton, accused Cuba of maintaining a biological weapons program. Many in the United States, including ex-president Carter, expressed doubts about the claim. Later, Bolton was criticized for pressuring subordinates who questioned the quality of the intelligence John Bolton had used as the basis for his assertion. Bolton identified the Castro government as part of America's "axis of evil," highlighting the fact that the Cuban leader visited several U.S. foes, including Libya, Iran and Syria.
In January 2006, United States Interests Section in Havana began, in an attempt to break Cuba's "information blockade", displaying messages, including quotes from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, on a scrolling "electronic billboard" in the windows of their top floor. Following a protest march organized by the Cuban government, the government erected a large number of poles, carrying black flags with single white stars, obscuring the messages.
On 10 October 2006, the United States announced the creation of a task force made up of officials from several U.S. agencies to pursue more aggressively American violators of the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, with penalties as severe as 10 years of prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for violators of the embargo.
In November 2006, U.S. Congressional auditors accused the development agency USAID of failing properly to administer its program for promoting democracy in Cuba. They said USAID had channeled tens of millions of dollars through exile groups in Miami, which were sometimes wasteful or kept questionable accounts. The report said the organizations had sent items such as chocolate and cashmere jerseys to Cuba. Their report concluded that 30% of the exile groups who received USAID grants showed questionable expenditures.
Vision for "democratic transition"
In 2003, the United States Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba was formed to "explore ways the U.S. can help hasten and ease a democratic transition in Cuba." The commission immediately announced a series of measures that included a tightening of the travel embargo to the island, a crackdown on illegal cash transfers, and a more robust information campaign aimed at Cuba. Castro insisted that, in spite of the formation of the Commission, Cuba is itself "in transition: to socialism [and] to communism" and that it was "ridiculous for the U.S. to threaten Cuba now".
In a 2004 meeting with members of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, President Bush stated, “We're not waiting for the day of Cuban freedom; we are working for the day of freedom in Cuba.” The President reaffirmed his commitment to Cuban-Americans just in time for his 2004 reelection with promises to “work” rather than wait for freedom in Cuba.
In April 2006, the Bush administration appointed Caleb McCarry "transition coordinator" for Cuba, providing a budget of $59 million, with the task of promoting the governmental shift to democracy after Castro's death. Official Cuban news service Granma alleges that these transition plans were created at the behest of Cuban exile groups in Miami, and that McCarry was responsible for engineering the overthrow of the Aristide government in Haiti.
In 2006, the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba released a 93-page report. The report included a plan that suggested the United States spend $80 million to ensure that Cuba's communist system did not outlive the death of Fidel Castro. The plan also feature a classified annex that Cuban officials mistakenly claimed could be a plot to assassinate Fidel Castro or a United States military invasion of Cuba.
The "Cuban Thaw"
Relations between Cuba and the United States remain tenuous, but since Fidel Castro stepped down from official leadership of the Cuban state and Barack Obama became president of the United States, they have improved.
In April 2009, Obama, who had received nearly half of the Cuban Americans vote in the 2008 presidential election, began implementing a less strict policy towards Cuba. Obama stated that he was open to dialogue with Cuba, but that he would only lift the trade embargo if Cuba underwent political change. In March 2009, Obama signed into law a congressional spending bill which eased some economic sanctions on Cuba and eased travel restrictions on Cuban-Americans (defined as persons with a relative "who is no more than three generations removed from that person") traveling to Cuba. The April executive decision further removed time limits on Cuban-American travel to the island. Another restriction loosened in April 2009 was in the realm of telecommunications, which would allow quicker and easier access to the internet for Cuba. The loosening of restrictions is likely to help nonprofits and scientists from both countries who work together on issues of mutual concern, such as destruction of shared biodiversity and diseases that affect both populations. At the 2009 5th Summit of the Americas, President Obama signaled the opening of a new beginning with Cuba.
Obama's overtures were reciprocated, to some degree, by new Cuban President Raúl Castro. On 27 July 2012, Raúl Castro said that the Government of Cuba is willing to hold talks with the United States government to "discuss anything". On 10 December 2013, at a state memorial service for Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama and Raúl Castro shook hands, with Castro saying in English: "Mr. President, I am Castro." Though both sides played down the handshake (much like the Clinton handshake of 2000), an adviser to Obama said that Obama wanted to improve relations with Cuba, yet had concerns about human rights on the island.
Beginning in 2013, Cuban and U.S. officials held secret talks brokered in part by Pope Francis and hosted in Canada and Vatican City to start the process of restoring diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States. On 17 December 2014, the framework of an agreement to normalize relations and eventually end the longstanding embargo was announced by Castro in Cuba and Obama in the United States. Cuba and the United States pledged to start official negotiations with the aim of reopening their respective embassies in Havana and Washington. As part of the agreement, aid worker Alan Gross and Rolando Sarraff Trujillo, a Cuban national working as a U.S. intelligence officer, were released by the Cuban government, which also promised to free an unspecified number of Cuban nationals from a list of political prisoners earlier submitted by the United States. For its part, the U.S. government released the last three remaining members of the Cuban Five. Reaction to this change in policy within the Cuban-American community was mixed, and Cuban-American senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) all condemned the Obama administration's change in policy. However, opinion polls indicated the thaw in relations was broadly popular with the American public.
High-level diplomats from Cuba and the United States met in Havana in January 2015. While the talks did not produce a significant breakthrough, both sides described them as "productive", and Cuban Foreign Ministry official Josefina Vidal said further talks would be scheduled.
Under new rules implemented by the Obama administration, restrictions on travel by Americans to Cuba are significantly relaxed as of 16 January 2015, and the limited import of items like Cuban cigars and rum to the United States is allowed, as is the export of American computer and telecommunications technology to Cuba.
On 14 April 2015, the Obama administration announced that Cuba would be removed from the United States "Terrorist Sponsor" list. The House and Senate had 45 days from 14 April 2015 to review and possibly block this action, but this did not occur, and on 29 May 2015, the 45 days lapsed, therefore officially removing Cuba from the United States' list of state sponsors of terrorism. This move by President Obama was a long-overdue recognition that Cuba's SST designation was no longer valid with the end of the Cold War. On 1 July 2015, President Barack Obama announced that formal diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States would resume, and embassies would be opened in Washington and Havana. Relations between Cuba and the United States were formally re-established on 20 July 2015, with the opening of the Cuban embassy in Washington and the U.S. embassy in Havana. Barack Obama visited Cuba for three days in March 2016. In August 2016, JetBlue Flight 387 landed in Santa Clara, becoming the first direct commercial flight to travel between the two countries since the early 1960s. On November 28, 2016, the first normally scheduled commercial flight after more than 50 years landed in Havana from Miami on an American Airlines jet.
With the election of Republican Donald Trump as U.S. president, the state of relations between the United States and Cuba was unclear as of January 2017. While a candidate for the presidency, Trump criticized aspects of the Cuban Thaw, suggesting he could suspend the normalization process unless he can negotiate "a good agreement".
On June 16, 2017, President Trump announced that he was suspending what he called a "completely one-sided deal with Cuba" (referring to Obama's policy of granting Cuba economic sanctions relief for nothing in return). A new policy aims to impose new restrictions with regards to travel and funding, however travelling via airlines and cruise lines will not be prohibited completely. Moreover, diplomatic relations remain intact and embassies in Washington D.C. and Havana stay open.
Health issues of American diplomats in Cuba
In the summer of 2017, reports surfaced that American and Canadian diplomats stationed in Havana had experienced unusual physical symptoms affecting the brain—including hearing loss, dizziness, and nausea. American investigators have been unable to identify the cause of these symptoms.
Under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Enhancement Act of 2000, exports from the United States to Cuba in the industries of food and medical products are permitted with the proper licensing and permissions from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the United States Department of the Treasury.
The Obama administration eased specific travel and other restrictions on Cuba in January 2011. A delegation from the United States Congress called on Cuban president Raúl Castro on 24 February 2012 to discuss bilateral relations. The Congress delegation included Patrick Leahy, Democratic Senator from the state of Vermont and chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and Richard Shelby, Republican Senator from the state of Alabama and ranking member of the Committee of Banking, Housing and Urban Matters; they went to Cuba as part of a delegation of Senators and Representatives of the Congress of United States.
The U.S. continues to operate a naval base at Guantánamo Bay under a 1903 lease agreement "for the time required for the purposes of coaling and naval stations". The U.S. issues a check to Cuba annually for its lease, but since the revolution, Cuba has cashed only one payment. The Cuban government opposes the treaty, arguing that it violates article 52 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, titled "Coercion of a State by the threat or use of force". However, Article 4, titled "Non-retroactivity of the present Convention" of the same document states that Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties shall not be retroactively applied to any treaties made before itself.
The leasing of land like the Guantánamo Bay tract was one of the requirements of the Platt Amendment, conditions for the withdrawal of United States troops remaining in Cuba following the Spanish–American War.
U.S. public opinion on Cuba–United States relations
This section does not cite any sources. (November 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Over time, the United States' laws and foreign policy regarding Cuba has changed drastically due to strained relationship. Beginning with opposition to the Castro led Independence Revolution in Cuba, the Spanish–American War, naval use of Guantanamo Bay Trade restrictions imposed by Nixon, and a trade embargo opened in the year 2000.
Since the 1990s, American public opinion of Cuba has overall become more favorable, and people became more supportive of ending the trade embargo as well as re-establishing diplomatic ties to Cuba. Gallup's poll that asked, "Is your overall opinion of Cuba very favorable, mostly favorable, mostly unfavorable or very unfavorable?," began in 1997 with only 10% of people voting favorable, or mostly favorable and in 2015, Cuba's favorability reached 46%, almost half of the population believing Cuba to be very or mostly favorable, the highest percentage since the question has been asked. That question has a had a constant rise in favorability, while asking whether or not Cuba was a serious threat had a constant decrease. According to the Roper Center, 68% of people in 1983 viewed Cuba has a serious or moderately serious threat to the United States, while in 2014 only 25% of the American population see Cuba as a threat. In a separate question by Gallup, "Do you favor or oppose re-establishing diplomatic relationships with Cuba?" this question has varied quite a bit over time, reaching its highest 71% in 1999 and most recently 51% in 2015. Data is likely to change more with higher favorability proceeding President Obama’s 2016 actions to lift the Cold War embargo policy off of Cuba.
- Agreement for Democracy
- Cuban Americans
- Americans in Cuba
- Spain–United States relations
- United States–Vietnam relations
- Canada–Cuba relations
- Introduction Council on Foreign Relations.
- "General Assembly Demands End to Cuba Blockade for Twenty-Second Year As Speakers Voice Concern over Impact on Third Countries". United Nations General Assembly, Department of Public Information, News and Media Division, New York. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
- "The Pope's Diplomatic Miracle: Ending the U.S.-Cuba Cold War". The Daily Beast. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
- "First take: Key points from the President's announcement on Cuba Sanctions" (PDF). PwC Financial Services Regulatory Practice, December 2014.
- "Cuba's Half Century of Isolation to End". Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 2014-12-17. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- Baker, Peter (18 December 2014). "Obama Announces U.S. and Cuba Will Resume Relations". New York Times. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
- Whitefield, Mimi (20 July 2015). "United States and Cuba reestablish diplomatic relations". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- Cave, Damien (26 March 2016). "With Obama Visit to Cuba, Old Battle Lines Fade". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
- CNN, Dan Merica and Jim Acosta. "Trump chips away at Obama's legacy on Cuba". CNN. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
- "Live stream: Trump announces policy changes on Cuba". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
- The American Empire Not So Fast Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. World Policy Journal (archived from the original on 16 June 2008)
- Cuba and the United States : A chronological History Jane Franklin. Ocean Press; 1997. ISBN 1-875284-92-3. ISBN 978-1875284924
- Quisenberry, Anderson C. (1906). Lopez's Expeditions to Cuba, 1850 and 1851. Louisville, KY: John P. Morton & Company. p. 86 – via Google Books.
- Rhodes (1893), p. 38.
- Hugh Thomas. Cuba : The pursuit for freedom. pp. 134–35
- Patricia Maroday (12 January 2015). "Doing Business with Cuba – The Complete Guide". www.mercatrade.com. Archived from the original on 14 February 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Sierra, J.A. (1898). "José Martí: Apostle of Cuban Independence". historyofcuba.com. Retrieved 7 July 2006.
- "Cuba: Revolution, Resistance And Globalisation". International-relations.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "History of Cuba Timeline : Struggle for Independence - 5". Historyofcuba.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- Hugh Thomas. Cuba : The pursuit for freedom. p. 336
- "History of Cuba: 1929 thru 1955". Historyofcuba.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Testimony of Arthur Gardner and Earl E. T. Smith". Latinamericanstudies.org. 21 December 2014.
- Hugh Thomas. Cuba: the pursuit of freedom. Picador; 2001. ISBN 978-0-330-48417-6. p. 650.
- Ernesto "Che" Guevara (World Leaders Past & Present), by Douglas Kellner, 1989, Chelsea House Publishers, ISBN 1-55546-835-7, p. 66
- "BBC News – Timeline: US-Cuba relations". BBC News. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Bay of Pigs Chronology". Gwu.edu. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- Fursenko and Naftali, The Cuban Missile Crisis. pp. 40–47
- John Pike. "Cuba". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- Original Spanish: " Mientras permitimos que Batista nos colocara de lado de la tiranía, nada hicimos para convencer al pueblo de Cuba y Latinoamérica que queríamos estar de lado de la libertad.", Mariano Ospina Peña, Las Elecciones Presidenciales de 1960 Archived 23 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine., La Bahía de Cochinos Archived 23 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine., caballerosandantes.net (in Spanish).
- "BBC NEWS - Americas – Castro marks Bay of Pigs victory". News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- Angelo Trento. Castro and Cuba : From the revolution to the present. Arris books. 2005.
- "AARC Public Digital Library – Interim Report: Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders, pg". ASSASSINATION ARCHIVES. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Profile in Courage". Query.nytimes.com. 8 June 2003. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Message from Castro to Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964". Historyofcuba.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- Full text of Cuban Liberty and Democracy Solidarity Act
- "The coddled "terrorists" of South Florida". Salon.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- David Ginsburg (2 May 1999). "Angelos 'Dominant' Force Behind Cuba-Orioles Series". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- Murray Chass (7 March 1999). "BASEBALL; Deal Is Finally Worked Out For Orioles-Cuba Exhibition". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
-  Archived 19 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- The Carter Center, Activities by Country: Cuba, retrieved 17 July 2008
- Perez, Louis A. Cuba: Between Reform And Revolution, New York, NY. 2006, p326
- Krogstad, Jens (24 June 2014). "After decades of GOP support, Cubans shifting toward the Democratic Party". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- "Bush Tightens Cuba Embargo". Antiwar.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Newsmax.com - Breaking news from around the globe: U.S. news, politics, world, health, finance, video, science, technology, live news stream". Newsmax.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- Bolton faces tough questioning from Democrats McClatchy Newspapers (archived from the original on 21 April 2008)
- "CNN.com – Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News". Archives.cnn.com. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- US and Cuba's complex relations BBC
- "BBC NEWS – Americas – US Havana messages outrage Castro". News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "US tightens Cuba embargo enforcement". TurkishPress.com. 10 October 2006. Retrieved 22 October 2006.
- "Cuba aid money 'wasted' by exiles". BBC News. 16 November 2006.
- "Castro's resignation won't change U.S. policy, official says".
- Rigoberto Diaz. Castro Calls Rice 'Mad' Archived 22 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. News24, 24 December 2005
- "BBC NEWS – Programmes – Crossing Continents – Planning for a Cuba without Castro". News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
-  Archived 27 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Cuban official discounts US action". Television New Zealand. 14 July 2006. Archived from the original on 14 December 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
- CBS News. "Cuba Vows Communist Succession Post-Castro, U.S. Dreams of Democratic Transition, but Cuba Promises Communist Succession After Fidel Castro". Cbs.news. Archived from the original on 24 April 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- Jonathan C. Poling, Obama Administration loosens restrictions on Cuba travel Akin Gump
- "Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 CFR Part 515: General License for Visits to Close Relatives in Cuba", 11 March 2009, Department of the Treasury. Archived 17 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Obama eases curbs on Cuba travel". BBC News. 13 April 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
- Boom, Brian (14 August 2012). "Biodiversity without Borders". Science & Diplomacy. 1 (3).
- Jiménez, Marguerite (6 September 2014). "Epidemics and Opportunities for U.S.-Cuba Collaboration". Science & Diplomacy. 3 (2).
- "Obama offers Cuba 'new beginning'". BBC News. 18 April 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
- "Raul Castro: Cuba willing to sit down with US". Associated Press via Yahoo News. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- Fletcher, Pascal (10 December 2013). "Obama shakes hand of Cuba's Raul Castro at Mandela memorial". Reuters.
- "'Mr President, I am Castro': Raul to Obama". aljazeera.com.
- Carol E. Lee and Jared A. Favole (10 December 2013). "Obama-Castro Handshake Shows Thaw in Relations With Cuba". WSJ. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "U.S. to normalize relations with Cuba; 'Isolation has not worked'". CTV.ca. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- "U.S., Cuba restore ties after 50 years". Reuters. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- "Renewed US-Cuba relations biggest success in Vatican diplomacy in decades". The Guardian. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- "Obama Announces U.S. and Cuba Will Resume Relations". 17 December 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- Alan Gomez; Marisol Bello (17 December 2014). "Reaction In Little Havana: Deal is 'ultimate bailout'". USA Today. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
William E. Gibson; Mike Clary (17 December 2014). "Mixed reaction in Miami as Florida's Cuban-American leaders blast policy shift". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
Wides-Munoz, Laura (17 December 2014). "Mixed emotions in Cuban exile community as Castro, Obama move to normalize relations". Star Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- Campbell, Colin (17 December 2014). "MARCO RUBIO: Cuba Deal Part Of Obama's 'Long Record Of Coddling Dictators And Tyrants'". Business Insider. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
Bobic, Igor (17 December 2014). "Bob Menendez, Marco Rubio Torch Obama Administration Over Cuba Announcement". Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
Tamari, Jonathan (17 December 2014). "Menendez blasts Obama on Cuba". The Inquirer. Philadelphia: Interstate General Media, LLC. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
Rogers, Alex (17 December 2014). "Cuban-American Senators Rip Obama's Cuba Trade". Time. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
Weaver, Al (17 December 2014). "Ted Cruz: Normalization Of U.S./Cuban Relations 'A Tragic Mistake' [VIDEO]". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
Nelson, Rebecca (17 December 2014). "Ted Cruz: Obama's New Cuba Policy 'Will Be Remembered as a Tragic Mistake'". National Journal. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- "CNN/ORC Poll: Americans side with Obama on Cuba". WTSP. 24 December 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "U.S., Cuba find 'profound differences' in first round of talks". The Washington Post. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- "Moving swiftly, U.S. eases travel and trade rules on Cuba". Chicago Tribune. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- Archibold, Randall C.; Davis, Julie Hirschfeld (14 April 2015). "Cuba to Be Removed From U.S. List of Nations That Sponsor Terrorism". New York Times. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- "US removes Cuba from list of state sponsors of terror". BBC.com. BBC News. 29 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- "Obama announces re-establishment of U.S.-Cuba diplomatic ties". CNN. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
- "U.S., Cuba re-establish diplomatic relations". CNNPolitics.com. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- Roberts, Dan (21 March 2016). "Obama lands in Cuba as first US president to visit in nearly a century". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
- Oppmann, Patrick; Marsh, Rene (31 August 2016). "US commercial flights take off for Cuba". CNN. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- Associated Press. "In another Cuba-U.S. milestone, a commercial flight leaves Miami and lands in Havana". LA Times. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
- "Business or Politics? What Trump Means for Cuba". The New York Times. 15 November 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- Dan Merica and Jim Acosta. "Trump chips away at Obama's legacy on Cuba". Retrieved 2017-06-16.
- Lynch, Cordelia. "Trump cancels Obama's 'one-sided deal' with Cuba". Sky News. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
- Marsh, Sarah. "Drastic staff cuts at U.S. Embassy in Cuba now permanent". U.S. Retrieved 2018-06-03.
- Elise Labott and Patrick Oppmann (September 29, 2017). "State Department orders nonessential diplomats and families out of Cuba following mysterious attacks". CNN. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- Harris, Gardiner (2017-09-17). "Tillerson Says U.S. May Close Cuba Embassy Over Mystery Ailments". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
- "Obama Administration Continues to Loosen the Rules Regarding Cuba". ABC News. 14 January 2011.
- latina, prensa. "Presidente cubano intercambia con senadores estadounidenses". Retrieved 25 February 2012.
- Boadle, Anthony (17 August 2007). "Castro: Cuba not cashing US Guantanamo rent checks". Reuters. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
- "Castro is Letting Rent for U.S. Base Pile Up" (PDF). New York Times. 3 October 1979. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- "Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties" (PDF). Legal.un.org. 1969. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- Air Force Fellows Program Maxwell AFB. The United States and Cuba – Past, Present and Future (2014) Excerpt
- Bergad, Laird W. Histories of Slavery in Brazil, Cuba, and the United States (Cambridge U. Press, 2007). 314 pp.
- Freedman, Lawrence. Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam' (Oxford University Press, 2000) Online
- Andrea Gremels, ed. (2016): Cuba: ¿Tránsito o cambio?. In: Romanische Studien 3 (2016), 23–116. http://romanischestudien.de/index.php/rst/issue/view/5.
- Grenville, John A. S. and George Berkeley Young. Politics, Strategy, and American Diplomacy: Studies in Foreign Policy, 1873-1917 (1966) pp 179-200 on "The dangers of Cuban independence: 1895-1897"
- Hernández, Jose M. Cuba and the United States: Intervention and Militarism, 1868–1933 (2013)
- Horne, Gerald. Race to Revolution: The United States and Cuba during Slavery and Jim Crow. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2014.
- LeoGrande, William M. and Peter Kornbluh. Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana. (UNC Press, 2014). ISBN 1469617633
- Offner, John L. An Unwanted War: The Diplomacy of the United States and Spain over Cuba, 1895–1898 (U of North Carolina Press, 1992) Online
- Sáenz, Eduardo, and Rovner Russ Davidson, eds. The Cuban Connection: Drug Trafficking, Smuggling, and Gambling in Cuba from the 1920s to the Revolution (U of North Carolina Press, 2008) online
- Jones, Howard. The Bay of Pigs (Oxford University Press, 2008) online
- Pérez, Louis A., Jr. Cuba in the American Imagination: Metaphor and the Imperial Ethos ((U. of North Carolina Press, 2008). 352 pp
- Pérez, Louis A., Jr. Cuba and the United States: Ties of Singular Intimacy (2003)
- Welch, Richard E. Response to Revolution: The United States and the Cuban Revolution, 1959–1961 ((U of North Carolina Press, 1985) Online
- Hoff, Rhoda, & Margaret Regler, eds. Uneasy Neighbors: Cuba and the United States (Franklin Watts, 1997) 185 pp. From Columbus to Castro
- Rhodes, James Ford (1893). History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850, Vol. II: 1854–1860. New York: Harper & Bros. OCLC 272963.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Relations of Cuba and the United States.|
- History of Cuba – U.S. relations
- Post-Soviet Relations Between Cuba and the US from the Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives
- Cold War International History Project: Primary Document Collection on US-Cuban Relations
- BBC: Timeline: US-Cuba Relations
- Complete text of the Teller amendment
- Complete text of the Platt amendment
- U.S. Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba
- US Judiciary Hearings of Communist Threats to America Through the Caribbean
- Secret History of U.S.-Cuba Ties Reveals Henry Kissinger Plan to Bomb Havana for Fighting Apartheid. Democracy Now! 2 October 2014.