Since 1959, conflict and aggression have dominated the story of US-Cuban relations. 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", William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh reveal a 50-year record of dialogue and negotiations, both open and furtive, indicating a path toward better relations in the future.
LeoGrande and Kornbluh have uncovered hundreds of formerly secret US documents and conducted interviews with dozens of negotiators, intermediaries, and policy makers. The authors describe how, despite the political clamor surrounding any hint of better relations with Havana, serious negotiations have been conducted by every presidential administration since Eisenhower's through secret, back-channel diplomacy.
©2014 The University of North Carolina Press (P)2015 Tantor
"Told in clear prose, this richly detailed book underscores how diplomacy makes headlines, but many exchanges happen far from official negotiation tables." (Publishers Weekly)
Well you have to want to understand history and want the detail. If that is you, you will really value this book. A fascinating read if only because it documents that the US stuffed Castro (and thus Cuba) systematically for 50 years. Castro creates only a man of reason at the side of the CIA and presidential intransigence and capitalistic dogma. Only Obama - although not impressive - showed any understanding of Cuba (or had no historical baggage) and thus facilitated what could have been resolved so much sooner. The 'Bay of Pigs' and the 'Cuban missile crisis become intelligible'. Even Kennedy's assassination seems more plausibly Cuba-related. An essential read for Cuban visitors.
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