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US, Cuba Conflict: 10 Quotes That Illustrate Struggles Through Years

By    |   Friday, 05 February 2016 07:21 PM

The U.S.-Cuba conflict is mainly known for the broken relations that began in the 1950s when Fidel Castro seized power from the dictator Fulgencio Batista in a bloody revolution.

When the communist government of Castro sided with the Soviet Union, a long standoff of over 50 years began. The United States and Spain went to war over Cuba before, however, and for a few years at the turn of the last century, the island was a colony of America.

Even after independence, U.S. forces were involved in conflicts on Cuba leading to a fractious relationship between the neighbours at times.

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Here are 10 quotes that illustrate the struggles of the U.S.-Cuba conflict through the years:

1. Theodore Roosevelt made his name in the Spanish American war of 1898, which resulted in Cuba becoming a U.S. colony. By Cuba's independence in 1902, Roosevelt was the U.S. president and sent a telegram to the Cuban government, which said, "Success to the Republic of Cuba."

2. Gerardo Machado put in place a strong communist regime as Cuba's president in the 1920s and when urged by the Roosevelt administration to return government to the people, responded by saying: "The re-establishment of the guarantees is a prerogative of the President of Cuba and will be done when the President considers it necessary."

3. When Batista staged a military coup to take power in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt sent navy ships to lie in waiting off Cuba. F.D.R. said in a statement: “In these circumstances, I feel constrained as a matter of special precaution and solely for the purpose of safeguarding and protecting the lives and persons of American citizens in Cuba, to order certain vessels to points on the Cuban coast.”

4. In 1960, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower issued a statement on Soviet actions in Cuba saying: “Nor will the United States, in conformity with its treaty obligations, permit the establishment of a regime dominated by international communism in the western hemisphere.”

5. In Soviet President Nikita Khrushchev’s memoirs, he wrote about how he saw what to do in Cuba during the early 1960s: “[Install] missiles with nuclear warheads in Cuba without letting the United States find out they were there until it was too late to do anything about them."

6. During the Cuban missile crisis, war looked inevitable and President John F. Kennedy said: “It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the western hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.”

7. In a long speech to the Cuban people in 1960, Fidel Castro was clear on blaming the U.S. for Cuba’s troubles: “It has been principal cause of our ills. It is force which wants old order to return to Cuba.”

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8. President Ronald Reagan during a 1983 speech in Miami blamed the Cuban government for Cuba’s problems: “So, don't let anyone fool you: What's happening in Cuba is not a failure of the Cuban people; it's a failure of Fidel Castro and of communism.”

9. U.S. President Bill Clinton reacted strongly to the Cuban shooting down of U.S. aircraft in 1996 by imposing stricter sanctions and said in a statement: “They respond to Havana in a way that serves our goals of accelerating the arrival of democracy in Cuba.”

10. In a 2002 speech to mark the 100th anniversary of Cuban independence, President George W. Bush kept the pressure on modern Cuba saying: “Today, and every day for the past 43 years, that legacy of courage has been insulted by a tyrant who uses brutal methods to enforce a bankrupt vision.”

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When the communist Cuban government of Fidel Castro sided with the Soviet Union in the 1950s, a long conflict with the U.S. began. The United States and Spain went to war over Cuba before, however, and for a few years at the turn of the last century, the island was a colony of America.
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Friday, 05 February 2016 07:21 PM
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