Causes of Tension Between Cuba and the United States, and The Bay of Pigs Invasion
On January 9, 1959, following their successful overthrow of the oppressive Batista regime, a band of freedom fighters, anchored by Fidel Castro, marched through the Cuban capital city of Havana. Upon his arrival, Castro immediately seized control of the Cuban government and declared himself the highest executive of the island nation, Premier of Cuba. In April of 1959, Castro visited the United States in order to gain support for his policies in leading Cuba. The majority of Americans warmly embraced Castro, "assuming that this charismatic leader would guide Cuba to democracy" (Cuba). Some Americans remained cautious in accepting Castro, however, primarily disturbed by his previously demonstrated socialist sympathies. In the following month, Americans were given reasons to become anti-Castro as the Premier took hold American owned sugar plantations, Cuba's multi-national companies, and the nation's petroleum holdings (Cuba). By the end of 1959, the nation began to show signs of Communist involvement. Communist affiliated groups took control of the nation's military, bureaucracy, and labor movement, and Soviet interest in the island increased. In February of 1960, "Anastas Mikoyan, vice-prime minister of the Soviet Union, came to Cuba. . . . A major topic [of the meeting] was the Soviet Union's purchase of Cuban sugar and [the Cuban] purchase of Russian oil" (Franqui 66). Following the meeting, the Soviet Union entered into a trade agreement with the USSR, causing the United States to drastically limit the import of Cuban sugar into the nation. In response, Cuba nationalized all remaining American properties and negotiated an expanded trade agreement and loans with the Soviets, causing the United States to break all diplomatic relations with the country (Cuba). Before the end of 1960, the USSR had begun sending military aid to the Cubans. (Cuba)
"The U. S. government was by now...
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