When Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Havana this week to build closer ties with Cuba's senior leadership, it begged the question, "Haven't we seen this movie before?"

Our narrative starts at the height of the Cold War. Cuba's revolutionary government established formal diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union on May 8, 1960. Washington, in turn, severed ties with Havana on January 3, 1961. By the time Vladimir Putin was a 10-year-old and Barack Obama was an infant, we had already lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the establishment of the Lourdes signals intelligence center near Havana, and more, which brought the heat of the Cold War within a hundred miles of our shores.

Back then, the Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations decided it simply would not do to have what was called a "Soviet puppet" in what some still call our "backyard." President Kennedy, as Cuba scholar Daniel Erikson wrote, reinterpreted the Monroe Doctrine "to support American efforts to contain the expansion of Soviet influence into the hemisphere."



Recent Articles

Date Title
1/28/15 Roberta Jacobson On MSNBC: 'It's About Empowering Cuban People'
MSNBC
1/28/15 Marco Rubio schedules Senate hearing on U.S.-Cuba policy
Patricia Mazzei, The Miami Herald
1/28/15 Outside Havana, a less sunny view of new U.S.-Cuba ties
Rick Jervis, USA Today
1/28/15 American Airlines interested in offering flights to Cuba
AP
1/28/15 Cuba's Castro warns U.S. against meddling in internal affairs
Enrique Pretel, Reuters
1/26/15 The agenda in Cuba
Editorial Opinion, The Miami Herald
1/26/15 Tech eyes Cuban payda
Julian Hattem, The Hill
1/24/15 As normalization talks begin, Cubans begin anticipating changes to come
Karen DeYoung, Washington Post
1/24/15 Jacobson: Much riding on efforts to restore relations with Cuba
Mimi Whitefield, The Miami Herald
1/23/15 U.S. presses Cuba on human rights in talks on restoring ties
Daniel Trotta and Lesley Wroughton, Reuters
1/23/15 U.S. says mistrust must be overcome to restore Cuba ties
Lesley Wroughton and Daniel Trotta, Reuters
1/22/15 Havana: U.S. immigration policy for Cubans needs to change
Mimi Whitefield, The Miami Herald
1/22/15 U.S. and Cuba Set to Discuss Diplomatic Ties
Randal Archibold, The New York Times
1/22/15 Miami-Dade commission asks Congress to revise Cuban Adjustment Act
Patricia Mazzei, Miami Herald Blog
1/22/15 A Better Cuba is More Possible Than Ever
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