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."



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Date Title
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AP, Miami Herald
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Susan Segal, Americas Quarterly
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Editorial Opinion, The New York Times
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11/12/14 Senators: We're Optimistic Cuba to Free Contractor
AP, ABC News
11/12/14 The new realities of running a business in Cuba
Jonathan Wolfe, Cristian Science Monitor
11/11/14 New York Times goes on a Cuban crusade
Thomas Sparrow, BBC
11/10/14 Aid agency rules would ban risky undercover work
Desmond Butler and Jack Gillum, AP
11/10/14 In Cuba, Misadventures in Regime Change
Editorial Opinion, The New York Times
11/10/14 Cuba’s Slave Trade in Doctors
Mary O'Grady, The Wall Street Journal
11/4/14 Cuban Government and USAID, a Fraught Relationship
Yoani Sanchez, The Huffington Post
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Michael Weissenstein and Andrea Rodriguez, AP
11/3/14 A Prisoner Swap With Cuba
Editorial Opinion, The New York Times