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Department Seal

Chronology of Cuban Affairs, 1958-1998

Released by the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, January 12, 1998

Blue Bar

Mar 14, 1958

The U.S. government suspends arms shipments to the Batista government.

 

 

Jan 1, 1959

Revolutionary forces seize control of Havana.

 

 

Jan 7, 1959

The United States recognizes the new Cuban government.

 

 

Jan 1959

Trials and executions of former Batista regime officials begin.

 

 

May 17, 1959

Agrarian Reform Law expropriates farmlands over 1000 acres and forbids foreign land ownership.

 

 

May 8, 1960

Diplomatic relations between Cuba and the Soviet Union resume.

 

 

Jun 28, 1960

Castro confiscates American-owned oil refineries without compensation.

 

 

Aug 6, 1960

Nationalization of U.S. and foreign-owned property in Cuba begins.

 

 

Aug 7, 1960

The Cuban Catholic Church condemns rise of communism in Cuba. Castro bans religious TV and radio broadcasts.

 

 

Oct 19, 1960

U.S. imposes economic embargo on Cuba, except food and medicine.

 

 

Oct 24, 1960

Remaining American-owned property in Cuba nationalized.

 

 

Jan 3, 1961

President Eisenhower breaks diplomatic relations with Cuba.

 

 

Apr 17, 1961

U.S.-supported Cuban exiles invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs.

 

 

Dec 2, 1961

Castro declares, "I am a Marxist-Leninist, and will be one until the last day of my life."

 

 

Jan 22, 1962

Cuban membership in the Organization of American States (OAS) is suspended.

 

 

Feb 7, 1962

The U.S. government bans all Cuban imports and re-export of U.S. products to Cuba from other countries. The U.S. will also cut off aid to countries that furnish assistance to Cuba.

 

 

Oct 2, 1962

U.S. ports are closed to nations allowing their ships to carry arms to Cuba, ships that have docked in a socialist country are prohibited from docking in the United States during that voyage, and the transport of U.S. goods is banned on ships owned by companies that trade with Cuba.

 

 

Oct 14, 1962

The Cuban Missile Crisis begins when U.S. reconnaissance aircraft photograph Soviet construction of intermediate-range missile sites in Cuba.

 

 

Oct 26, 1962

In a secret communication, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev agrees not to break the U.S. blockade and offers to withdraw Soviet missiles from Cuba if the United States pledges not to invade Cuba and if President Kennedy would order Jupiter missiles removed from Turkey.

 

 

Oct 27, 1962

Cuba downs a U-2 plane. In a letter to Khrushchev, President Kennedy proposes immediate Soviet withdrawal of the missiles in exchange for an end to the blockade. Privately, the USG informs the Soviet Union it will withdraw U.S. missiles from Turkey once the crisis ends.

 

 

Oct 28, 1962

Radio Moscow announces that the Soviet Union has accepted the proposed solution.

 

 

Nov 21, 1962

President Kennedy terminates the quarantine measures against Cuba.

 

 

Feb 8, 1963

The Kennedy administration prohibits travel to Cuba and makes financial and commercial transactions with Cuba illegal for U.S. citizens.

 

 

Jul 8, 1963

All Cuban-owned assets in the United States are frozen.

 

 

Jul 1964

Members of the OAS vote to enact economic sanctions and to break diplomatic links with Cuba.

 

 

Oct 1965

Over 3000 Cubans leave in a boatlift from Camarioca to the United States.

 

 

Nov 6, 1965

Beginning of the Freedom Flights program, which allows 250,000 Cubans to come to the United States by 1971.

 

 

1966

Father Miguel Laredo is tried for allegedly assisting in the attempted escape of a Cubana Airlines engineer. In addition, priests and other clergymen are required to enter into military service.

 

 

Nov 2, 1966

The Cuban Adjustment Act allows 123,000 Cubans to apply for permanent residence in the U.S.

 

 

Jan 2, 1968

Castro announces petroleum rationing.

 

 

Mar 13, 1968

The Great Revolutionary Offensive is launched, culminating in the nationalization of the remaining private sector and mobilization of manpower for agricultural production.

 

 

Jan 2, 1969

Castro announces sugar rationing.

 

 

Jul 1972

Cuba joins the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, the communist bloc trade association.

 

 

Oct 1973

Cuba sends 500 tank drivers to aid Syria during the Yom Kippur War.

 

 

Nov 1974

Assistant Secretary of State William Rogers and Assistant to the Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger conduct secret normalization talks with Cuban officials in Washington and New York. The talks end over Cuban involvement in Angola.

 

 

Jul 29, 1975

OAS members vote to lift collective sanctions against Cuba. The U.S. government welcomes the action and announces its intention to open serious discussions with Cuba on normalization.

 

 

Oct 1975

Cuba begins deployment of 35,000 combat troops to support the Marxist regime in Angola.

 

 

Dec 20, 1975

President Ford declares that Cuban involvement in Angola and support of the Puerto Rican independence movement ends efforts to improve relations.

 

 

Dec 22, 1975

Castro declares continued support for revolutionary movements in Angola and Puerto Rico.

 

 

Feb 24, 1976

Under a new constitution, Castro becomes head of the government as of President of the Council of Ministers, commander of the armed forces, and First Secretary of the communist party. The PCC is institutionalized within the formal governmental structure. Article 54 prohibits the practice of faith or the establishment of religious organizations in opposition to revolutionary principles.

 

 

Mar 18, 1977

U.S. government lifts prohibition on travel to Cuba and allows U.S. citizens to spend $100 on Cuban goods during their visits.

 

 

Apr 1977

200 Cuban trainers arrive in Ethiopia. Cuba supports the Katangan rebellion, causing the government of Zaire to break-off diplomatic relations. Cuba maintains troops in the Congo, Mozambique, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Equatorial Guinea.

 

 

Apr 27, 1977

The United States and Cuba sign agreements on fishing rights and maritime boundaries.

 

 

Sep 1977

The United States and Cuba open interests sections in each others capitals.

 

 

Jan 1978

Cuba begins deployment of 20,000 troops to Ethiopia.

 

 

Jul 31, 1978

Castro calls for the removal of U.S. bases from Guantanamo Bay. Bombings of the Cuban United Nations Mission, the Cuban Interests Section, and the Soviet Mission by anti-Castro exile groups follow throughout the fall. In December, the U.S. government announces that the full force of the law will be used against those responsible for these terrorist actions.

 

 

Jul 1979

Cuban-supported Sandinistas overthrow the government of Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua.

 

 

Aug 30, 1979

Senator Frank Church, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, announces discovery of a Soviet combat brigade of 3000 troops in Cuba.

 

 

Oct 1, 1979

President Carter reaffirms that troops from Cuba would not be permitted to move against neighboring countries and establishes a Caribbean Joint Task Force Headquarters in Florida.

 

 

Apr 1980

10,000 Cubans storm the Peruvian embassy in Havana seeking political asylum. After the easing of immigration restrictions, a flotilla of refugees (eventually 125,000) begins an exodus from the port of Mariel in Cuba for the United States.

 

 

May 14, 1980

President Carter demands that the Cuban government impose an orderly departure and orders a blockade to prevent private boats from traveling to Cuba to pick up refugees. The Cuban government closes Mariel harbor in September.

 

 

Sep 11, 1980

An attache of the Cuban Mission to the United Nations is assassinated by anti-Castro terrorists. Secretary of State Muskie issues a statement terming the murder "reprehensible."

 

 

Dec 22, 1980

The first of several meetings between U.S. and Cuban officials to discuss the repatriation of the Marielitos occurs.

 

 

Sep 23, 1981

The U.S. government announces plans to establish Radio Marti to broadcast to Cuba.

 

 

Mar 1982

U.S. envoy Vernon Walters meets with Castro in Havana to discuss outstanding issues.

 

 

Apr 9, 1982

Charter air links between Miami and Havana are halted by the U.S. government.

 

 

Apr 19, 1982

USG effectively bans travel to Cuba by prohibiting monetary expenditures in Cuba by U.S. citizens.

 

 

Oct 25, 1983

The U.S. intervention of Grenada begins following a leftist coup and the discovery that Cubans are being used to build an airstrip that could have been used for military aircraft.

 

 

Jan 11, 1984

A presidential commission on Central America headed by Henry Kissinger reports that the Soviet and Cuban intervention in the region has created a major security problem for the United States.

 

 

July 31, 1984

U.S. and Cuban officials hold talks on migration issues.

 

 

Dec 14, 1984

The United States and Cuba conclude a migration pact under which Cuba agrees to accept the return of Marielitos.

 

 

Jan 21, 1985

U.S. bishops visits Cuba. They meet with Castro and request the release of 250 political prisoners.

 

 

May 20, 1985

Radio Marti begins broadcasts to Cuba. The Cuban government immediately jams the signal. Castro later suspends the 1984 U.S.-Cuban immigration agreement.

 

 

1986

The Cuban government begins to grant long-term visas to foreign priests and nuns.

 

 

Nov 19, 1987

The United States and Cuba conclude a new immigration pact which reinstates the 1984 agreement.

 

 

Mar 1988

The UN Human Rights Commission sends a team to report on the human rights situation in Cuba.

 

 

Aug 23, 1988

President Reagan signs a trade act that ends licensing requirements for importing recordings, printed material, and other media from Cuba.

 

 

Nov 1988

At the intercession of the U.S. Catholic Conference, Cuba agrees to release 44 political prisoners.

 

 

Nov 20, 1989

The Treasury Department limits travel related expenses for U.S. citizens to Cuba at $100 per day.

 

 

Mar 23, 1990

The first test of TV Marti is launched. It is jammed by the Cuban government.

 

 

May 20, 1991

In a meeting with Cuban dissidents, President Bush calls for Castro to release political prisoners and hold elections.

 

 

Sep 11, 1991

Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev states that he will withdraw all Soviet troops from Cuba.

 

 

1991

The Fourth Communist Party Congress resolves to allow members of religious groups to join the party.

 

 

Dec 1991

Termination of Soviet economic subsidies worth approximately $6 billion annually.

 

 

Jul 1992

Changes to the Cuban constitution include measures to attract foreign investment without compromising Castro's hold on power. The official designation of the Cuban government is changed from "atheist" to "secular." Religious discrimination is also forbidden.

 

 

Oct 15, 1992

Congress passes the Cuban Democracy Act, which prohibits foreign-based subsidiaries of U.S. companies from trading with Cuba, travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens, and family remittances to Cuba. The law allows private groups to deliver food and medicine to Cuba.

 

 

Oct 1, 1993

The United States and Cuba reach an agreement at the working level on the repatriation of 1500 criminal Cuban migrants. High level GOC approval was never forthcoming.

 

 

Aug 1994

Following Castro's declaration of an open migration policy, a new boat lift begins when 30,000 refugees set sail from Cuba as economic conditions continue to deteriorate. A "picket line" established by the U.S. Coast Guard prevents additional seaborne migrations.

 

 

Sep 1, 1994

Talks on migration open in New York City between Cuban and U.S. officials.

 

 

Sep 9, 1994

The U.S. and Cuba issue a joint communique agreeing to take measures to ensure that migration between the two countries is safe, legal, and orderly. The U.S. agrees that total legal migration to the U.S. will be a minimum of 20,000 per year.

 

 

May 2, 1995

The U.S. and Cuba issue a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to promote safe, legal, and orderly migration. Under this accord, Cubans interdicted at sea or who enter the Guantanamo Naval Base illegally are returned to Cuba provided that they do not have any protection concerns. Returned Cubans are monitored by personnel from the United States Interests Section.

 

 

Oct 5, 1995

President Clinton announces measures to expand people-to-people contacts between the U.S. and Cuba, to allow U.S. NGO's to fund projects in Cuba, and to provide AID funding to U.S. NGO's for Cuba-related projects.

 

 

Nov 1995

The Concilio Cubano is formed to organize the first human rights conference in which all human rights groups on the island were expected to participate.

 

 

Jan 1996

The GOC denies Concilio legal recognition. Concilio requests permission for the conference to take place February 24, 1996.

 

 

Feb 1996

The GOC begins an island-wide crackdown on Concilio Cubano. During the next 3 months over 200 Concilio leaders and supporters would be arrested, interrogated, and harassed.

 

 

Feb 24, 1996

Cuban MIG's shoot down in international airspace two civilian aircraft belonging to the Miami-based group Brothers to the Rescue. Three Americans and one Cuban Legal Resident are killed.

 

 

Mar 12, 1996

President Clinton signs the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad Act) which enacts penalties on foreign companies doing business in Cuba, permits U.S. citizens to sue foreign investors who make use of American-owned property seized by the Cuban government, and denies entry into the U.S. to such foreign investors.

 

 

Jul 16, 1996

President Clinton suspends enforcement of Title III provisions of the Libertad Act permitting suits to be filed in U.S. courts against foreign investors who are profiting from U.S.-claimed confiscated property. Title III itself is allowed to go into effect on August 1.

 

 

Nov 19, 1996

Pope John Paul II receives Castro at the Vatican. The Pope accepts an invitation to visit Cuba.

 

 

Aug 16, 1996

President Clinton appoints Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat as the Special Representative for the Promotion of Democracy in Cuba.

 

 

Dec 2, 1996

The European Union adopts the Common Position on Cuba, conditioning developmental assistance to Cuba on fundamental, democratic change.

 

 

Jan 3, 1997

President Clinton suspends the right to sue provisions of Title III, pointing to the progress made under the U.S.-led multilateral initiative to promote democratic change in Cuba.

 

 

Jan 28, 1997

The President releases a report on assistance the U.S. and rest of the international community would provide to a transition government in Cuba.

 

 

Feb 12, 1997

The Administration approves licenses for U.S. news organizations to open bureaus in Cuba. Only CNN is allowed in by the Cuban Government.

 

 

Apr 11, 1997

U.S.-EU Understanding. The EU agrees to suspend WTO case against the Libertad Act and other components of U.S. legislation. The U.S. and EU agree to work together to develop binding international disciplines to deter investment in confiscated property. U.S. agrees to seek presidential waiver authority for Title IV of the Libertad Act if such disciplines are developed and adhered to.

 

 

Jul 16, 1997

Cuban state security arrests the Dissident Working Group on charges of enemy propaganda.

 

 

Jul 16, 1997

President Clinton for the third time suspends the right to sue provisions of Title III.

 

 

Aug-Dec 1997

USG approves a license request by Archdiocese of Miami to charter a cruise ship to take pilgrims to Cuba during the Pope's visit, and licenses for other religious groups and media to use charter aircraft to go to Cuba for the Pope's visit.

[End of Document]