America & Cuba
Cuba is a pretty big island located in the Caribbean in the south-east of the United States, more precisely in the south of Florida . The relations between these two countries began a long time ago where they were not independent yet. Indeed, at first, America was a British colony and Cuba was under Spanish domination. But they still had relations, especiallycommercial. Nevertheless, America gradually gained a certain influence all over Cuba’s economy and politics.
How have been the relations between America & Cuba evolving?
I – Early relations
II – Cuban Revolution (turning point)
III – Consequences of these relations
The proximity between the American mainland and Cuba is a first reason to the development of their trade relations.Cuba turned into a major partner in that region through legal and illegal trade. In 1776, Americans did their independence war and escaped from British domination. So Spain opened Cuban ports to the United States the same year but it turned out that the island became very dependent of these trade relations. Indeed, in 1877, 82 percent of Cuba’s exports were bound for the United States and manyAmerican corporations were installed on the island. That’s why this one began to consider Cuba as a possible annexation to their country. Consequently, American diplomats devised with the Ostend Manifesto (1854) a secret plan to buy Cuba from the Spanish for 130 million dollars but the plan did not succeed. In the same time, Cubans began to rebel against Spanish domination and their independence warstarted on February 24th, 1895. Three years later, the United States intervened in the war in favor of Cuba which led to the Spanish capitulation. In December 1898, the treaty of Paris declared Cuba free from Spain but the island had to be administrated by the United States. So Cuba’s sovereignty just changed hands and the island was not yet independent. This American control lasted until 1902when Cuba officially declared his independence. Nevertheless, the United States kept the control of Cuba’s politics with the Platt Amendment. This was an agreement which allowed the United States to intervene into Cuban political and economic affairs if they had to. As a result, Americans helped dictators favorable to them to come to the power in Cuba. Thus came to the power Batista in the 1940s andthen in the 1950s.
The system managed by Batista was based on repression and corruption. That’s why his government was overturned by Fidel Castro with the help of Che Guevara on January 2nd, 1959: this is the Cuban Revolution. Castro became the leader of the government and it is important to notice that at this time he was not yet socialist. But 5 months later, he nationalized sugarcaneplantations and oil companies. That’s why the United States put an embargo toward Cuba and wanted to overturn Castro. The embargo forbade any trade relations between the United States and Cuba. Since the Americans were against him, Castro turned to the Soviet Union, which became a great trade partner for Cuba and declared to be ready to defend the island in case of American attack. In the same time, theCIA organized the overthrow of Castro but they failed their landing into the Bay of Pigs in 1961 which reinforced Castro’s prestige. In 1962, he declared Cuba a socialist republic. Besides, the relations between the United States and Cuba became even more tensed with the Cuban Missile Crisis the same year. Indeed, the leader of the Soviet Union Khrushchev installed Soviet missiles on Cubanterritory in direction of the United States on the occasion of the Cold War. The United States discovered these missiles and in October 1962, Kennedy established a blockade around Cuba in order to prevent the Soviet Union from delivering equipment for the island. This event was the climax of the Cold War and the world was about to the nuclear war with Cuba at his center. In consequence, Khrushchev...