Gonzalez, Edward
July 1972
Foreign Affairs;Jul1972, Vol. 50 Issue 4, p722
This article discusses the international relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Thirteen years after Fidel Castro's rise to power, the state of Washington and Havana in Cuba remain locked in mutually uncompromising positions. The continuing climate of recriminations and reprisals in U.S.-Cuban relations now stands in sharp contrast with the dramatic and sudden thaw in U.S.-Chinese relations that began in April 1971. In fact, both Washington and Havana seemed to have seized upon the Chinese development to reaffirm their postures of mutual intransigence. From the U.S. vantage point, Cuba is not mainland China with its vast population, developing nuclear capability and potential for influencing developments in Southeast Asia if not in the Vietnam War itself. Notwithstanding these arguments, the U.S. may now need to reexamine its own vital interests in the light of recent Cuban developments. Indeed, both the U.S. and Cuba may be developing limited common interests that could be exploited by a more flexible U.S. policy. For the present, however, the policies of the two countries seem based in large part on antagonistic stances having their origins in the past, and which may no longer serve to advance their respective national interests. In any event, neither the President nor the Cuban Premier appears willing to make the first move. Since this standoff has transfixed U.S.-Cuban relations for over a decade, it may be useful to reexamine the initial causes and processes making for the breakdown in U.S.-Cuban relations.


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