U.S. President Barack Obama announces the resumption of normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

17/12/2014View on timeline

Cuba–United States relations are bilateral relations between Cuba and the United States. Cuba and the United States restored diplomatic relations on 20 July 2015, relations which had been severed in 1961 during the Cold War. U.S. diplomatic representation in Cuba is handled by the United States Embassy in Havana, and there is a similar Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. The United States, however, continues to maintain its commercial, economic, and financial embargo, making it illegal for U.S. corporations to do business with Cuba.

The hold of the Spanish Empire on possessions in the Americas was reduced in the 1820s as a result of the Spanish American wars of independence; only Cuba and Puerto Rico remained under Spanish rule until the Spanish–American War (1898) that resulted from the Cuban War of Independence. Under the Treaty of Paris, Cuba became a U.S. protectorate from 1898-1902; the U.S. gained a position of economic and political dominance over the island, which persisted after it became formally independent in 1902.

Following the Cuban Revolution of 1959, bilateral relations deteriorated substantially. In 1961, the U.S. severed diplomatic ties with Cuba and began pursuing covert operations to topple the Communist regime. In October 1960, the U.S. imposed and subsequently tightened a comprehensive set of restrictions and bans against the Cuban regime as retaliation for the nationalization of U.S. corporations' property by Cuba. The 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion, the 1962 missile crisis, and American efforts to stand up to Fidel Castro's attempts to spread communism throughout Latin America and Africa, are main highlights of U.S. antagonism towards Cuba during the Cold War, although Nixon, Ford, Kennedy, and Johnson resorted to back-channel talks with the Cuban government during the Cold War.

On 17 December 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced the beginning of a process of normalizing relations between Cuba and the U.S., which media sources have named "the Cuban Thaw". Negotiated in secret in Canada and Vatican City over preceding months, and with the assistance of Pope Francis, the agreement led to the lifting of some U.S. travel restrictions, fewer restrictions on remittances, U.S. banks access to the Cuban financial system, and the establishment of a U.S. embassy in Havana, which closed after Cuba became closely allied with the USSR in 1961. The countries' respective "interests sections" in one another's capitals were upgraded to embassies on 20 July 2015. On 20 March 2016, President Barack Obama visited Cuba, becoming the first U.S. President in 88 years to visit the island.

On 16 June 2017 President Donald Trump announced that he was suspending the policy for unconditional sanctions relief for Cuba, while also leaving the door open for a "better deal" between the U.S. and Cuba.

A 2016 survey shows that 77% of Cubans have a favorable view of the United States, with only 4% expressing an unfavorable view.

The Embassy of the United States to Cuba in Havana.

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Published in 15/05/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

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