Timeline: U.S.-Cuba relations
January 1, 1959: U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista flees Cuba as Fidel Castro (R, waving) and his revolutionaries seize control. Two years later, on January 3, 1961, the U.S. breaks off diplomatic relations with Cuba after the nationalization of...more
April 16, 1961: Castro declares his revolution is socialist. The next day, CIA-backed Cuban exiles try to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, but are defeated. Pictured: Fidel Castro enters a public trial of captured members of the Bay of Pigs invasion...more
October 1962: The United States discovers Soviet nuclear missiles on Cuba, leading to a showdown with the Soviet Union that almost leads to war. The confrontation ends with the Russians removing the missiles and the United States agreeing never to...more
April-October 1980: Cuba allows 125,000 people to travel to the United States from the port of Mariel in what becomes known as the Mariel Boatlift. Pictured: A couple walk past the remains of the old Peruvian Embassy in Havana, where the 1980 Mariel...more
December 1991: The Soviet Union, Cuba's biggest benefactor, collapses, touching off an economic crisis from which the island has not fully recovered. REUTERS/Stringer
August-September 1994: More than 35,000 people leave Cuba in fragile boats, headed for the United States. REUTERS/Rolando Pujol Rodriguez
March 1999: The Clinton administration approves a two-game exhibition series between the Baltimore Orioles and Cuban national baseball team, marking the first time a Major League Baseball team played in Cuba since 1959. Pictured: Fidel Castro talks...more
September 1998: Five Cuban intelligence officers, known as the "Cuban Five," are arrested and later convicted of espionage, conspiracy to commit murder and other illegal activities in the U.S. The five were eventually released, in a period from...more
November 1999: Cuban child Elian Gonzalez is rescued from a capsized boat near the Florida coast, as he, his mother and her boyfriend attempted to reach the U.S. A custody battle erupts, pitting Castro's government against the Cuban-American...more
2002: In the months after September 11, portions of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, which opened in 1903, are turned into a detention center for enemy combatants. REUTERS/Stringer
2004: Following George W. Bush's re-election, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declares Cuba to be one of the "outposts of tyranny" in the world. Later, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs John Bolton...more
July 31, 2006: Fidel Castro, seen here being visited by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, provisionally turns over power to his brother, Raul Castro, after undergoing emergency intestinal surgery. REUTERS/Estudios Revolucion-Granma/Handout
February 24, 2008: The National Assembly elects Raul Castro to formally replace the ailing Fidel. REUTERS/Prensa Latina/Pool
December 10, 2013: Barack Obama and Raul Castro shake hands at a state memorial service for Nelson Mandela. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
December 2014: Cuba releases Alan Gross, 65, who had been imprisoned in Cuba for five years. Cuba convicted the U.S. Agency for International Development subcontractor to 15 years in prison after accusing him of importing banned technology and trying...more
2013: Cuban and U.S. officials begin secret talks brokered in part by Pope Francis, and hosted in Canada and Vatican City. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
January 16, 2015: The United States rolls out a sweeping set of measures to significantly ease sanctions on Cuba, opening up the country to expanded U.S. travel, trade and financial activities. Limited import of items such as Cuban cigars and rum to...more
July 1, 2015: Barack Obama announces formal diplomatic relations will resume, with embassies reopening in Washington and Havana. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
August 14, 2015: U.S. Marines raise the American flag at the embassy in Cuba for the first time in 54 years, symbolically ushering in an era of renewed diplomatic relations between the two Cold War-era foes. REUTERS/Stringer
March 21, 2016: Barack Obama makes a historic trip to Cuba, the first visit by a sitting U.S. president since 1928. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
August 31, 2016: The first scheduled commercial passenger flight from the United States to Cuba in more than half a century lands. A JetBlue Airways Corp passenger jet arrived from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara....more
June 16, 2017: President Donald Trump ordered tighter restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba and a clampdown on U.S. business dealings with the island's military, saying he was canceling former President Barack Obama's "terrible and misguided...more
September 29, 2017: The United States cut its diplomatic presence in Cuba by more than half and warned U.S. citizens not to visit because of mysterious "attacks" that caused hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo, headaches and fatigue in U.S. embassy...more
June 4, 2019: The Trump administration imposed heavy new restrictions on U.S. travel to Cuba, including a ban on cruises. The State Department said the United States will no longer permit visits to Cuba via passenger and recreational vessels,...more
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