Now, I don’t know how many of you are excited about the new relationship forming between the United States and a feisty little island called Cuba, but I am totally thrilled that we’re trying to patch things up. I generally love the Caribbean man, but Cuba has always held a completely different allure for me; it attracts me like a moth to a flame, not that I want the same result mind you, but soon I can finally answer.
But how did things between us get so sour in the first place?
Today, January 7th, marks the day U.S. officials recognized the new provisional government of Cuba back in 1959. It occurred only 6 days after the fall of the pro-American Fulgencio Batista dictatorship that dominated Cuba for many years. Although the U.S. was concerned about Fidel Castro’s rebel army having an instrumental role in the overthrowing the previous regime because of its communist ties, the U.S. still believed the two could work together. It didn’t exactly go down like that.
Here’s what Politico’s Andrew Glass has to say about it: “Earl Smith, the U.S. ambassador in Havana, voiced suspicions over Castro’s goals. But John Foster Dulles, who served as secretary of state under President Dwight Eisenhower, overrode Smith’s concerns. He advised Eisenhower to recognize the Urrutia government, since it appeared, as Dulles put it, to be ‘free from communist taint’ and interested in ‘friendly relations with the United States.’”
Even though Fidel Castro was sworn in as the premier of Cuba only a month later, it soon became clear that he was a lot more than his title – he was the authority figure that wielded all of the actual power. It only took two years for the U.S. to cut ties with Cuba due to the country’s association with communist regimes, which then led us the Bay of Pigs invasion – a sort of disastrous moment for the CIA, but more about that later.
Image Copyright: Jvlio via Wiki Commons