Fidel Castro, who died on November 25, was one of the most prominent figures of the Cold War and an adversary of ten consecutive U.S. presidential administrations. This reading list considers the legacy of his nearly fifty years in power, including the Cuban Missle Crisis, the U.S. economic embargo, and the years following the Cold War.
For the first time ever, the United States abstained in the annual United Nations General Assembly vote to condemn the U.S. embargo of Cuba. The vote was bad enough; the explanation of vote offered by our envoy at the UN was in many ways even worse. Elliott Abrams explains the problem in National Review.
President Barack Obama traveled to Cuba March 20-22, 2016, the first time a sitting U.S. president has traveled to Cuba since 1928. The trip is part of the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014. President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro held a joint press conference and discussed the opening of a U.S. embassy in Cuba, trade relations, and human rights.
Over the past year, the Obama administration has rapidly repaired diplomatic and economic ties with Cuba. Last month, in the latest of many agreements, Washington and Havana signed a deal restoring commercial flights between the two countries for the first time in more than 50 years, just as the White House approved construction of the first U.S. factory in Cuba since the 1960 embargo.
On February 23, 2016, President Barack Obama announced the Exceutive National Security team and Department of Defense plan to close down the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility, transfer the remaining detainees, and accelerate the review process about the threats posed by current detainees.
U.S. President Barack Obama met with Cuban President Raul Castro at the Summit of the Americas in Panama on April 11, 2015. In December 2014, President Obama announced changes to the U.S. policy toward Cuba, including removing Cuba from the U.S. State Department list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.
Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz spoke at the Third Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Spanish: Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, or CELAC) Summit on January 28, 2015. He discussed how CELAC countries have supported each other through economic, security, and political agreements. President Castro also laid out the conditions he wants as Cuba and the United States reestablish diplomatic relations.
On January 15, 2015,the Treasury and Commerce Departments released amendments to financial sanctions on Cuba, after President Obama announced diplomatic and economic changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba.
Follow President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro's near simultaneous announcements to recast U.S.-Cuba relations, Julia Sweig reflects in her column on potential changes that may occur in the next five to ten years.