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Cuba and the United States 1958-63. Early Relationship with Cuba. Cuba’s war for independence( 1898) & sugar prices allow US to buy up failed sugar plantations 1903 Platt Amendment: gives US right to intervene; some control over foreign policy; allowed for military bases (Guantanamo Bay)

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Cuba and the United States 1958-63

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early relationship with cuba
Early Relationship with Cuba
  • Cuba’s war for independence( 1898) & sugar prices allow US to buy up failed sugar plantations
  • 1903 Platt Amendment: gives US right to intervene;
    • some control over foreign policy; allowed for military bases (Guantanamo Bay)
  • Teller Amendment 1898: Allows for the passage of the war resolution putting the U.S. at war with Spain over Cuba
    • Amendment declares our DISinterest in taking over Cuba – provides for Cuba’s independence

“I wonder if he can play the damned thing alone”

friendly dictators
Friendly Dictators…
  • US Backs Fulgencio Batista – both times due to his support of US business interests
  • US’ Good Neighbor Policy repeals Platt in 1934; promises no military intervention in L.A.
  • Batista, San Martin (44-52), Batista 52-58
  • US fixes import quotas on sugar (although still largest market for sugar exports)
  • US has much influence and maintains interests in sugar, casino’s hotels, & organized crime
us latin america post wwii
US-Latin America Post-WWII
  • Rio Pact 1947: Calls on LA countries to aid neighbors under attack
  • 1948: Creation of OAS (Org. of American States) – US led , further strengthens alliances between LA & US
  • Under separate agreements US agrees to give arms if countries agree to reduce trade with USSR
  • Growing concerns with international communisim drive several actions in Latin America - CIA activity in Guatemala
  • Batista’s increasing brutality & repression lead to US questions about Batista in Cuba
nationalism grows
Nationalism Grows
  • Early nationalists groups have difficulty unifying – in part based on lack of political freedom (ineffectiveness of the Constitution of 1940)
  • Nationalists DISAGREE on internal politics,
  • Nationalists AGREE on negative influence of the US
  • Fidel Castro and other students searching for political freedom and economic independence –
  • 26 July 1953: Castro’s failed attempt to oust Batista. Captured, released, exiled to Mexico where he prepares for the real revoultion
  • This failed attempt sows seeds for the 26 July Movement
july 26 movement
July 26 Movement
  • Industrialization
  • Redistribution of land
  • Full employment (much seasonal unemployment)
  • Better education system
  • Economic Independence (esp from US)
us reactions to castro
US Reactions to Castro
  • Once in power, US does not quite know how to react
  • Castro appeals to the US for diplomatic relations
  • Castro minimizes connections with Socialism; highlights economic independence
a deteriorating relationship 1959 60
A Deteriorating Relationship 1959-60
  • Cuba makes a trade deal with the USSR – Sugar for crude oil
  • US reduces trade with Cuba
  • US oil firms refuse (upon gov’t request) to refine Soviet oil
  • Castro nationalizes oil refineries
  • Eisenhower cancels most of sugar quota (50% of Cuban crop, approx. 3mil tons/yr went to US)
  • Cuba begins expropriating US property – US banks then all others
  • US imposes embargo on exports to Cuba (except med. & food) then extends the embargo to foreign subsidiaries of US companies
  • Castro acknowledges Marxist-Leninist ideology; declares his revolution a socialist revolution
  • US-Cuban relations officially cut; US restricts travel to Cuba
bay of pigs april 1961
Bay of Pigs April 1961
  • Things just keep getting worse…..
  • CIA enlists Cuban exiles to attack and overthrow regime
  • Poorly planned, secret not secure
  • Kennedy takes responsibility
  • Clouds future interactions
oas meets in uruguay january 1962
OAS meets in Uruguay January 1962

OAS declares that Marxist-Leninist ideology not compatible with Inter-American system; Castro has “voluntarily” placed himself outside the OAS system

OAS votes to suspend military trade with Cuba

  • Some members abstain – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico. One votes against – Cuba. 14 in favor.
  • Cuba effectively out of OAS meetings until 2009
  • US bans imports from Cuba/ including imports with any part made in Cuba
  • Foreign Assistance Act: declares US won’t provide aid to any nation who trades with Cuba
you decide
You decide
  • Given what you know about events between Jan 1959 and April 1961, who was responsible for the deterioration of the relationship between the US and Cuba?
  • (Write ½ page),
october 1962
October 1962
  • Kennedy is shown photos from a U-2 spy plane
  • Shows launch pads for 64 Soviet IRBM’s
  • Does not change nuclear balance of power, but increases Soviet first strike capability
  • Affects US public’s view of balance of power
why missiles in cuba
Why Missiles in Cuba?
  • 1962 Khrushchev put IRBM’s (intermediate range ballistic missiles) in Cuba
  • Give the US a taste of it’s own medicine?
  • As a bargaining chip?
  • He’s mad about Berlin, wanted to irritate the US?
  • To defend & preserve the Cuban Revolution?
  • Because he’s crazy & wanted war?
what should kennedy do
What Should Kennedy Do?
  • Kennedy gathers a team of advisors – an executive committee
  • EX COMM must decided what the best steps will be considering the risks
  • Read one of the options and be prepared to argue it’s merits in an ExComm meeting….
questions for all excomm
Questions for all ExComm:
  • How will the Soviets view your option?
  • How will the rest of the world view your option?
  • What is most at risk in this situation? For instance, is it American lives? Us standing in the world? World stability?
  • What values lie at the root of your option?
kennedy s questions
Kennedy’s Questions

Those of you representing Kennedy must come up with some critical questions of the various members of the ExComm. Your critical questions will be used to foster discussion in the group. You should develop two questions for each of the options. You may consider questions of implementation time, cost, viability, etc.

what does kennedy do
What does Kennedy Do?
  • Oct 20, 1962 Kennedy decides on a “quarantine”
  • Essentially a blockade, but a blockade, by definition is an act of war…
  • Oct 22 – Speech to US public
  • “Many months of sacrifice and self-discipline lie ahead, months in which both our patience and our will will be tested.”
reaction of the us
Reaction of the US
  • Varied – ranged from too timid to too strong
  • Tension in the United States is incredible as US waits for USSR’s next move
  • British Cartoon Oct 29, 1962 “OK Mr. President, let’s talk”
reaction of the ussr
Reaction of the USSR
  • No response for several hours after the quarantine is placed
  • Khrushchev angry – blasted quarantine as act of war
  • Maintained that missiles are purely for the defense of Cuba
khr s letters which one to respond to
KHR’s letters – which one to respond to?
  • Read letters
  • Given these two letters which would you respond to?