The Obama Administration and Cuba: The Clinton Administration Revisited

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International and Area Studies | International Relations | Political Science


The tortured 50-year relationship between the revolutionary government of Cuba and the United States has been the focal point of much political and scholarly analysis over a long number of years. The key question that is often asked is: when will the two countries have ‘normal’ relations? Unfortunately, that framing of the question is problematic and not particularly useful in addressing the fundamental issues that separate the governments of the two countries. The reality is that Cuba and the United States, going back over 200 years, have never had a ‘normal’ relationship, defined as mutual respect for the sovereignty and national interests of each other. For 50 years the government of the United States has sought the overthrow of the revolutionary government of Cuba by any means necessary. In the 1960s that meant an invasion of exiles at Playa Giron and numerous attempts to assassinate Cuban leaders. In the decade of the 2000s, in addition to the 50-year economic blockade, there are the programmes of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) designed to support a small US-aligned political opposition embodied in the recent case of Alan Gross.