- Spain's rule of Cuba ended on 1 Dec 1898, after the Spanish-American war. Spain renounced all rights to Cuba and ceded it to the US.
- US military rule of Cuba lasted till 1902, when Cuba formally became independent.
- The Platt Amendment signed between Cuba and US, kept the island under US protection and gave US the right to intervene in Cuban affairs.
The initial years of independence
- After independence, US intervened many a times militarily in Cuban affairs to quell rebellion.
- Fulgencio Batista's presidential term in Cuba saw a period of close cooperation between both the countries.
- In 1934, US abandoned its right to intervene in Cuba's internal affairs.
- In 1959, Fidel Castro led a guerrilla rebellion and forced Batista to flee while US withdrew military aid to Batista.
Stymied relations under Castro's rule
- In 1959, Fidel Castro became the Prime Minister of Cuba.
- In 1960, Castro nationalized all US businesses in Cuba without compensation. US therefore, broke off trade relations with Cuba and imposed a trade embargo in response to Castro's reforms.
- In 1961, a US backed invasion at Bay of Pigs was resisted by Cuba.
- Castro proclaimed Cuba a communist state and allied with the USSR.
US-Cuba relations plummet further
- Between 1961 and 1965, over eight assassination attempts were planned by CIA to kill Castro.
- In 1962, fearing a US invasion, Castro allowed USSR to deploy nuclear missiles in Cuba. Tensions peaked between the two nations at the time.
- This almost led to a war until USSR agreed to remove missiles in return of US withdrawal of missiles from Turkey.
Post Cold War relations
- Post Cold War, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba was left without its super power ally.
- The US in 1993, further tightened its embargo on Cuba which prohibited travel to Cuba by US citizens.
- Bill Clinton in 1999 eased the travel restrictions.
- In 2003, George Bush went back to tightening travel embargo and announced measures to end the communist rule in Cuba.
Raul's rule welcomes a thaw
- Fidel Castro's brother, Raul Castro who was then the acting leader, officially took over the reins to become Cuba's President in 2008.
- Raul indicated that he was open to warming of relations with the US.
- In 2009, Obama lifted restrictions on family travel and remittances to Cuba.
- In 2013, US and Cuban officials held secret talks to start the process of restoring ties.
Obama announces US will restore relations with Cuba
- On 17 Dec 2014, President Obama announced that US will restore relations with Cuba and open an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than half-century.
- He vowed to "cut loose the shackles of the past."
- On 14 April 2015, Obama administration announced the removal of Cuba from the United States "Terrorist Sponsor" list; it was officially removed on 29 May 2015.
US and Cuba agree to reopen embassies
2 Jul 2015
- In a promising move towards normalizing relations, US President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed to reopen embassies in both the countries and diplomatic missions on July 2015.
- Obama has urged the US Congress to lift the decades-old trade embargo.
- "Americans and Cubans alike are ready to move forward', Obama said. "I believe it's time for Congress to do the same."
Obama to visit Cuba in March: Sources
18 Feb 2016
- President Barack Obama will visit Cuba in the coming weeks, the first for a sitting US president in nearly 90 years, senior administration officials have stated.
- The trip marks an end to more than a half-century of official estrangement between the historic Cold War rivals.
- The last sitting president to visit the island was Calvin Coolidge, who addressed a conference in Havana in 1928.
Obama: First US president in Cuba since 1959
21 Mar 2016
- President Barack Obama arrived in Cuba for a historic visit, the first visit by a US president in 57 years.
- Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro are expected to hold talks on improving ties and boosting bilateral trade, investment and political reform.
- Obama's visit is the latest high-point in ties after both countries reopened their embassies in each other's territories last year.
Obama, Castro call for end of Cuban embargo
22 Mar 2016
- US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro called for an end to the 54-year economic embargo of Cuba so that economic ties between the two nations can improve.
- However, political differences emerged at the press conference held after the event.
- Castro refused to answer questions posed to him on Cuba's human rights record, saying that human rights issues "should not be politicized."
US cruise ship makes historic Cuba visit
2 May 2016
- An American cruise ship, the Adonia set sail to Cuba from the US, carrying over 700 passengers, the first trip in more than 50 years.
- The cruise went ahead after Cuba scrapped a ban on its citizens entering or leaving the island by sea.
- The US-company operating the cruise, Carnival, was given permission by both the governments to run ships between Florida and Cuba.
US abstains from Cuba embargo vote at UN
28 Oct 2016
- In line with President Barack Obama's call for ending the US embargo on Cuba, the US for the first time, did not vote against the UN resolution to end the embargo.
- 191 out of 193 countries approved the resolution with only the US and Israel abstaining.
- US ambassador Samantha Power said the US "always voted against this resolution. Today the United States will abstain."
AARC Public Digital Library - Interim Report: Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders, pg
U.S. to Restore Full Relations With Cuba, Erasing a Last Trace of Cold War Hostility - The New York Times
PC: 'Fidel Castro - MATS Terminal Washington 1959'. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
PC: 'Lula and Raul Castro' by Valter Campanato - Agência Brasil . Licensed under CC BY 3.0 br via Wikimedia Commons
PC: 'Spanish Flag flying in Murcia, Spain' by Supermac1961 - Flickr: Spanish Flag. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons