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
7/23/14 Chinese president backs Cuba's economic reforms
7/22/14 Cuba, the United States and Human Trafficking
Salim Lamrani, The Huffington Post
7/22/14 No Protests on the Streets of Cuba
Yoani Sanchez, The Huffington Post
7/18/14 Inspector general probing US ‘Cuban Twitter’ plan
AP
7/18/14 U.S. hijacker of jet to Cuba in 1984 is sentenced to 20 years in Miami federal court
Jay Weaver, The Miami Herald
7/16/14 President Obama could use a win
Richard Feinberg, The Hill
7/16/14 Current Record
7/16/14 Cuba Agrees to Return Lourdes Intelligence Center to Russia
RIA Novosti
7/15/14 US slams Cuba dissident arrests as 'intimidation tactic'
AFP
7/14/14 Clash intensifies over travel to Cuba
William E. Gibson, Sun Sentinel
7/14/14 Putin hails Cuba's "strategic" importance for Russia
EFE
7/11/14 US, Cuba hold migration talks in Washington
AP, Miami Herald
7/8/14 Sen. Robert Menendez seeks probe of alleged Cuban plot to smear him
Carol D. Leonnig and Manuel Roig-Franzia, The Washington Post
7/8/14 Cuba prosecutes Canadian after he denounced corruption - company
Daniel Trotta, Reuters
7/8/14 U.S. in sanctions talks with Commerzbank and Deutsche-source
Thomas Atkins and Alexander Hübner, Reuters
7/8/14 Audit finds low morale at Office of Cuba Broadcasting
Michael Doyle, The Miami Herald
7/7/14 Democrats' Florida push calls for US shift on Cuba
Michael Mishak, The Miami Herald
7/7/14 Raul Castro: Economic changes must be gradual
AP, Washington Post
7/7/14 Cuba mulls economy, graft in parliament session
AP, The Washington Post
7/2/14 Two South Florida women detained in Havana
Juan Tamayo, El Nuevo Herald
7/2/14 Google exec says Cuban internet is old and censored
Juan Tamayo, El Nuevo Herald