Date of Award/Publication

4-22-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in International Studies

Department

International Studies

Abstract

The intention of this paper is to re-examine the past and current relations between the United States and the nation of Cuba to assess the rationale for the re-establishment of international relations between the two nations. Through an understanding of our historical relations, analysis will reveal how the United States went awry from sound international practice through our early relationship to the Cuban Revolution of 1959. Cuban/U.S. relations only worsened as Fidel Castro put his revolutionary principles into practice and drew closer to the Soviet Union until the U.S. instituted a trade embargo against Cuba during the U.S. presidential administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower. President Eisenhower successfully influenced many North and South American nations, European allies, and even key Asian nations to comply to the accords of the embargo while Cuba's ties with the U.S.S.R. and the Warsaw Pact nations strengthened. This tension developed into a military crisis when the Cuban government allowed Russian Soviet troops to erect nuclear missiles on Cuban soil within range of the United States. The subsequent progression of U.S. Presidents differed very little from the administrations of Eisenhower and Kennedy in their outlook and actions toward Fidel Castro and subsequently toward his nation. During the Carter and Clinton administrations only very limited overtures from the U.S. to Cuba were extended and yet progress in the re-establishment of U.S./Cuban relations was halted due to the reversal of many policy changes both by those administrations and by future administrations. Currently, Raul Castro is serving as President of Cuba while Fidel Castro is in poor health, yet Fidel possibly is still directing some degree of control in governmental matters. The new U.S. President, Barrack Obama, has indicated change in U.S./Cuban relations, yet thus far no U.S. policy changes have occurred concerning Cuba. The thesis of this paper is that the U.S. and Cuba both have much to gain by the re-establishment of international relations. The citizens of both nations will benefit economically and the security of the Western Hemisphere will be enhanced by the restoration of diplomatic relations and trade by the governmental leaders of the two nations. This re-establishment of international relations might best be achieved through the mediation of a third party which will be introduced as a strategy for the successful re-establishment of relations in the final section of this paper.

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