Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana

ISBN 10: 1469617633 / ISBN 13: 9781469617633
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History is being made in U.S.-Cuban relations right now. This powerful book is essential to making sense of the new and ongoing steps towards normalization between the longtime antagonists. Challenging the conventional wisdom of perpetual hostility between the United States and Cuba--beyond invasions, covert operations, assassination plots using poison pens and exploding seashells, and a grinding economic embargo--Back Channel to Cuba chronicles a surprising, untold history of bilateral efforts toward rapprochement and reconciliation. Since 1959, conflict and aggression have dominated the story of the United States and Cuba. Now, William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh present a remarkably new and relevant account. From John F. Kennedy's offering of an olive branch to Fidel Castro after the missile crisis, to Henry Kissinger's top secret quest for normalization, to Barack Obama's promise of a new approach, LeoGrande and Kornbluh reveal a fifty-year record of dialogue and negotiations, both open and furtive, indicating a path toward a world beyond the legacy of hostility.

LeoGrande and Kornbluh have uncovered hundreds of formerly secret U.S. documents and conducted interviews with dozens of negotiators, intermediaries, and policy makers, including Fidel Castro and Jimmy Carter. The authors describe how, despite the intense political clamor surrounding efforts to improve relations with Havana, serious negotiations have been conducted by every presidential administration since Eisenhower's through secret, back-channel diplomacy. Including ten critical lessons for U.S. negotiators, the book offers a key perspective on the normalization process underway and illuminates a fascinating passage in U.S.-Cuban relations as it happens.

Book Description: "LeoGrande and Kornbluh have analyzed thoroughly the history of dialogue between two countries locked in a contradictory relationship for five decades, with each side skeptical that the other truly wanted improved relations. With continual change in Washington, and continuity in Cuban leadership, the authors draw important lessons from the efforts of every administration since Eisenhower to negotiate with Cuba."--President Jimmy Carter

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LeoGrande, William M., Kornbluh,Peter
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