U.S President Barack Obama‘s continued efforts to better the relationship between Cuba and the United States, making history as the first sitting U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge made the trip in 1928. The U.S Air Force One touched down in Havana, Cuba, with POTUS, Michelle Obama, their two daughters and Barack’s mother-in-law on board. They were greeted by Cuba’s foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez, and Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the senior U.S. diplomat in Cuba.

Just months after he seized power in Cuba, Fidel Castro visited Washington in April 1959 and received a warm welcome. Castro met with Vice President Richard Nixon, placed a wreath at the base of both the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials and was photographed looking up in seeming admiration of both U.S. presidents.

It’s a stalemate that outlasted 10 U.S. presidents, a failed invasion, a nuclear crisis and countless boatloads of Cuban asylum seekers. Meanwhile, the Castro brothers have kept running Cuba for more than a half-century.

Richard Nixon, then vice president, meets with Cuba's Fidel Castro on April 19, 1959, in Washington. Castro had just seized power a few months earlier and U.S.-Cuba relations had not yet soured.

With the rise of Castro, attempts to establish normal relations soon gave way to mutual recriminations. The young Cuban leader denounced “Yankee imperialism” and developed ties with the Soviet Union.President Eisenhower placed a harsh economic embargo on Cuba in October 1960, and diplomatic relations were severed the following year. The Cold War moves were intended to contain, if not roll back, communism, but it soon seemed the measures would be overtaken by far more dramatic events.

The U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion, a 1961 disaster carried out by Cuban exiles, was just one of at least eight futile U.S. attempts to oust Castro in the 1960s. The Bay of Pigs was followed a year later by the Cuban missile crisis,When the Soviet union kept ready to launch nuclear missiles facing the U.S on Cuban soil… a U.S.-Soviet staredown that ended with Moscow removing its missiles from the island.

Lesser crises came and went in the years that followed, but the embargo always endured. It has succeeded in keeping Cuba poor and isolated but has also served as a badge of defiance for the Castros, who have blamed their own shortcomings on the U.S. policy.

Despite the embargo, the Castro regime has never been seriously threatened from inside Cuba and over time the U.S. policy developed its own contradictions.                      Giztzzz…       mAdE t.V!



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