Cuba-US relations from war to revolution

As the US ends more than 50 years of hostility we look back over the strained relationship between the United States and Cuba



Spanish-American War – 1898

As Cuba fights for independence from Spanish rule, the USA offers to buy the nation. The offer is rejected and the US launches military action. In Cuba this becomes known as “the US intervention in Cuba’s War of Independence.” The US victory marks the beginning of its dominance of the region.



The Platt Amendment – 1901

USA agrees to withdraw troops from Cuba on the basis that the country is allowed to intervene in Cuban affairs if required. Although Cuba becomes a republic as a result, heavy US intervention continues for the next 20 years.



Cuban Revolution – 1953-1959

Rebels led by Fidel Castro overthrow the government of Cuban president Batista. Batista had encouraged close relations between the two countries and is supported by the US, while Castro’s new socialist regime receives mass criticism and relations deteriorate rapidly.



The Bay of Pigs – 1961

1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launch an armed invasion of Cuba to overthrow Castro. Although the invasion initially overwhelms the militia, the invaders are ultimately defeated and the event is used to fuel anti-American propaganda in the country.



The Cuban Missile Crisis – 1962

American planes bring back photographic evidence of Soviet ballistic missile facilities in Cuba. In response the US sets up a military blockade to prevent any more missiles entering the country. Tense negotiations take place over 13 days, until finally the Soviets agree to dismantle their weapons, while the US agrees to never invade Cuba without direct provocation.


Image: The Official Memorial Service For Nelson Mandela Is Held In Johannesburg

Full diplomatic relations – 2014

US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro meet and the US agrees to restore diplomatic and economic ties with Cuba, proclaiming an end to an “outdated approach.”