A brief history of America and Cuba
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A brief history of America and Cuba

October 23, 2019


America is opening up relations with Cuba,
and it’s a big deal, ending decades of hostility, and beginning a new era between the two countries. But to understand just how big of a deal , where
that hostility really came from, and why it took so long to end, you’ve go to go back
— way back, not to the 1950s as many Americans think, but to the 1850s. The story starts with America divided between
pro-slavery and anti-slavery politics. And one of their many fights is over the Spanish
colony of Cuba. Pro-slavery lawmakers want to buy Cuba from Spain, or take it by force,
to turn into a new slave state. Anti-slavery politicians oppose this, calling it imperialism. In 1898, after slavery ends, Americans have
a different version of this argument again, when Cubans rise up against Spain. The US
joins them, starting the Spanish-American war. But Americans divide: should the US seize
Cuba from Spain for itself, or liberate it? This is part of a much bigger debate at the
time over whether the US should explicitly become a European-style imperial power. So this is an argument about Cuba, but it’s
also an argument about America and what kind of country it should be. Should America be
the kind of country that controls Cuba, or that respects it as a fellow sovereign nation?
That argument has continued, in different forms, ever since At this point, in 1898, the fight happens
in Congress. Each side passes laws trying to force their way. It ends with a weird split-baby
policy, with Cuba winning independence, but under quasi-imperial rule. The US would take
over Guantanamo Bay, dictate Cuba’s foreign policy, and give itself the right to intervene
in Cuban affairs. Then come the next American interventions
in Cuba, in 1906 and 1917. Each time, the US military takes over for a few years, ostensibly
to resolve some political crisis, but that usually means protecting American interests,
such as sugar imports. Today, when Americans think about the US and
Cuba, we think of the Cold War, but Cubans often think back to this imperial era. That era technically ends in 1933, with an
uprising against Cuba’s government. Under US law, America is supposed to intervene,
but President Franklin Roosevelt want to end America’s imperial era, so he declares neutrality. Over the next 20 years, Cuba becomes a democracy,
and one that’s generally friendly with the US. That changes in 1952, when a former president
and military leader named Fulgencio Batista seizes power in a coup, suspends the constitution,
and imposes an increasingly oppressive rule. Cuba’s Communist uprising begins the next
year, led by a young Fidel Castro. American politics at this point is obsessed with fears
of communism, so the US backs Batista in the war, no matter how brutal he becomes. For Americans, this feels like a front in
the struggle against communism. But for Cubans, it feels like Batista is an extension of American
imperialism, and the guerrilla war a continuation of their long fight for freedom. The communists win in 1959 and Castro takes
power. The US, fearing communism’s expansion, sets up the embargo to strangle Cuba’s economy,
tries to assassinate Castro, even, in the disaster known as Bay of Pigs, sends in CIA-trained
Cubans to try to take over the island. Castro turns to the Soviets for help, and
in 1962 they nearly start World War Three when the US blocks Soviet efforts to put nuclear
missiles in Cuba. The incident scares everyone enough that things settle into a tense but
peaceful status quo. Over time, ordinary Cubans are squeezed between
the US embargo and Castro’s dictatorship. In 1980, Castro tries to relieve some political
dissent by briefly allowing Cubans to leave the island, and 125,000 arrive in Florida. No one realizes it at the time, but this adds
a completely new dimension to the conflict. It’s now also about the internal Cuban battle
between Castro and Cuban dissidents, which plays out through American politics. This becomes really important in the 1990s.
After the Soviet Union collapses, President Clinton, seeing Cuba poses no threat, wants
to end the conflict. So does Castro, who can’t count on Soviet aid any more. But Cubans in America, who suffered terribly
at Castro’s hand, want to see him fall, and push for keeping the embargo. In 1996, Cuba shoots down two private planes
chartered by Cuban-American activists. There’s a big backlash in the US, and Clinton backs
down. 20 years later, President Obama tries again
to end the conflict. By now, Americans don’t really support the embargo. Lots of Cuban-Americans
are now economic migrants, rather than political exiles, so they want openness. Fidel is getting
old, and in 2008 hands power to his brother Raul, who knows the country needs to change. The US and Cuba start secret talks in 2013.
The new Pope, Francis, helps negotiate. In 2014, they reveal their agreement to end the
conflict, and the next year Obama becomes the first president to visit since Calvin
Coolidge in 1928. The US and Cuba have never really had “normal”
relations until now, and that’s crucial to understanding why it took so long for this
to happen. So much has passed between the two countries over the past century, and the
US has at times treated Cuba as more of a colony than a real country. It’s a lot to
get over. But it looks like they might both finally be ready.

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  1. ¡We need this video in spanish! Necesita una traduccion, para poder llegar a mas visualizaciones…. 👏👏👏😀

  2. I never actually understood one thing, why is communism considered bad in USA? Two large nations are following it by choice so I am not understanding. Even on big bang theory sheldon's family gets targeted due to sheldon's remarks on communism. So what am i missing here? Feel free to correct/educate me or share your views

  3. thank for this piece of information i needed this
    the graphics was so amazing
    a big thumbs up to you:)

  4. NB: Castro was initially supported by U.S. He wasn't a communist until the U.S tried to make him a puppet, he was a nationalist.

  5. Nope, Trump pushed this back 50 years, its a shame really. And those old cubans, really there the reason Castro came to power, there was practically slavery into the 1950s, they were a bad bunch, look at Batista .

  6. AMERICA un CONTINENTE compuesto de 35 países y más de 1000 millones de habitantes estás ratas de EEUU hasta del nombre que pertenece al nuestro CONTINENTE se quieren apropiar pobre gente estúpida ignorante

  7. You forgot that the US make explode one of his own ships killing hundred of sailors in order to declare war against Spain.

  8. This entire video is completely lopsided to favor the Castro regime:
    – Cuba under Fulgencio Batista was still flourishing, people had more freedom, technology continued to advance on the island, and people had food to eat in plenty. Under Fidel Castro it became the opposite.
    – The US Embargo is not was caused Fidel Castro to create a relationship with the USSR, but rather it was a result of the relationship that Castro first took with the USSR.
    – And lastly this video paints the 1980 migration (El Mariel) has some nice gesture that Fidel Castro showed the US in allowing people to leave the island. Castro emptied his prisons during that event, and the way in which Cubans were allowed off the island was more of a lottery system. If you won that lottery and we’re allowed to leave, you would first be paraded for days through the streets of your hometown as a “traitor” and humiliated, having eggs and rocks thrown at you. Families were forcibly separated during that event as well.

  9. thanks for the brief info. a really IMPORTANT PART you left out was that the united nations was to provide cuba with foreign aid. castro visited the un headquarters and mtgs. 2 times. however, he left with no funding. he ran on the platform of health and education which aligned him with some of the goals of the soviet union. with no resources from the united nations nor the united states, castro decided to align himself with the soviet union.

  10. The Americans should have annexed Cuba into a state just like Hawaii. Puerto Rico should also be an American state.

  11. So, it's June 2019 and Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr., Obama and now Trump have passed thru the White House, but still basically the Castro brothers have remained in power and have kept that island in the dark ages while exporting their revolution and missery to other countries like Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, etc. Can't wait for a radical change, even a violent one in that island to oust communism.

  12. So is Castro current Maduro & Batista current Guiado in Venezuela? & the US is backing Guiado in fear of communism?

  13. Please shed some light to what really happened in the Philippines, how it formed under Spanish colonization and its transfer to USA.

  14. Sooooo in resume…
    USA reaaaalllyyyyy likes getting into other’s business and spitting at the face of Spain and the rest of Spanish-speakers countries.

  15. Forgot to mention that under Batista Cuba was a "chill-zone" for rich Americans. Prostitution, alcohol, casinos and other stuff which was banned in the USA at that point. A lot of significant parts of the Cuban industry was also under the American rule. "20 years of democracy" nice preparation, Vox. Besides this, soviet missles actually were placed in Cuba. American spy plane U-2 took photos of the missles on the island. Doesn't match with the information in the video

  16. And then Glupyy Trump, like a bull in a china shop, destroyed all progress. And incidentally, this weakens our National Security, and curtails beneficial trade for both Countries.

  17. USA doesn't just treat Cuba and Puerto Rico as a colony pretty much all of Latin America which is 1 of the reasons they flooded by us. Don't know why could never live in USA

  18. Cuba was very well being part of Spain until US government introduced its hands, after of this came to Cuba the communism and the poverty. Viva Cuba española!

  19. The title should have been named

    “A brief history of United States and Cuba”

    as far as i know America is a continent not a whole country.

  20. Cuba becomes a democracy in the 30s??
    Hahaha!! Not then or now, Cuba has never ever been a democracy, I know, I from there.

  21. Just one small error; the lines on the map pointing to where the CIA sponsored Playa Giron attack in '61 occurred did not point to the Bay of Pigs area. That area was further to the east than on the map.

  22. I am Cuban myself and I have to say that this is actually pretty accuarate although rather simplistic from my point of view, in reality a lot more happen betwen the U.S and Cuba, but yeah pretty good video

  23. But Cuba see Venezuela as its colony as well, now the US feel they have responsibility for liberating Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from their dictatorships. As Venezuelan I would like the US set a deadline for communism in the Americas and I have to thank Mr Trump for the efforts.

  24. USA ran illegal business in Havana for many years. The USA’s criminals who had much power in and out of the nation ( Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano.. etc) corrupted Batista into renovating Cuba as a luxurious tourist hot spot. This catering to tourists only widened the gap between the rich and poor in Cuba, making it almost impossible to escape poverty. Once the Americans left, local small towns improved and finally began to evolve.

  25. No offense to any Americans, but why did you take mostly Spanish speaking countries like the Philippines, which are one of my neighbors (I'm Malaysian)?

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