Breaking Up with Cuba: The Dissolution of Friendly Relations Between Washington and Havana, 1956-1961

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9780786459728: Breaking Up with Cuba: The Dissolution of Friendly Relations Between Washington and Havana, 1956-1961
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Between April 1956 and April 1961 the friendly relationship between the United States and Cuba collapsed, and the two countries grew to be fast enemies. This historical text recounts how Cuba, though largely "Americanized" at the time, became increasingly nationalistic, defensive and militarized under the Provisional Government instituted in 1959. Under the influence of a burgeoning paranoia, Cuba anticipated a covert invasion from the United States and purged American customs and values from Cuban society. Also examined is the poor insight and reliance on faulty intelligence by the United States which led to profound mistakes in its foreign relations strategy, and ultimately to a complete breakdown of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

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From the Author:

"Cuba and the United States were bosom allies in the 1950s; so close that we were rapidly acculturating to each other. After all, we're only ninety miles apart. We had a lot of common interests and we had won a war together. They might call it the Cuban War for Independence and we might call it the Spanish American War, but it was the same war.
Anyone could have seen from viewing our respective social lives and our popular culture of the era that we were eagerly courting each other. Appropriately, the most popular couple in 1950s America was Lucy and Desi: Lucille Ball, the vivacious American redhead, and Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III, Desi Arnaz, the tall, dark and accented Cuban singer, actor, and straight man, who epitomized the Cuban/American relationship. Each week the I Love Lucy television show reminded Americans how close we were with our Cuban neighbors. At a time when most American mainstream culture was directed toward a monolithic, homogeneous, sterile, lily white majority, Lucy and Desi highlighted their cultural differences and exhibited some good natured cultural tension to make Americans laugh. Meanwhile, everybody got an education: each of the characters were exposed to a foreign culture and taught each other socialization skills to attempt mutual cultural assimilation."

About the Author:

Daniel F. Solomon is an administrative law judge in the United States Department of Labor. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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