Cuba-EEUU: De Enemigos Cercanos a Amigos Distantes (1959–2015)

By da Silva, Marcos Antonio | The International Journal of Cuban Studies, Spring 2017 | Go to article overview

Cuba-EEUU: De Enemigos Cercanos a Amigos Distantes (1959–2015)


da Silva, Marcos Antonio, The International Journal of Cuban Studies


Francisco López Segrera, Cuba-EEUU: de enemigos cercanos a amigos distantes (1959-2015) (Barcelona: Editorial El Viejo Topo, 2015) pb 172pp. ISBN:9788416288472

The joint announcement of the resumption of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US, in December 2014, has been one of the principal events of regional geopolitics and inter-American relations. After five decades of detachment, crisis, conflicts and aggressions, the main geopolitical conflict in Latin America finally seems to be following the course of normalisation. However, despite the initial euphoria, many doubts continue to permeate the process: What were the motivations of each government to start it? Is it possible to normalise the relations between these countries after decades of mistrust and bellicosity? And, if so, what are its main constitutive elements? How can the demands of each one affect a continuity of this process?

The conflict between Cuba and the US has a long history and begins with the late independence of the Caribbean island from Spanish colonial dominion. At the end of the long independence war, US action, driven by the famous Monroe Doctrine, which guided the country's foreign policy towards the region, and the sinking of the Battleship Maine, overcame Cuban autonomy. Thus, through the Platt Amendment, the US created a neocolonial domain and introduced sovereignty of tutelage that allowed for US omnipresence, until 1959, in Cuba's economy, politics and culture.

With the revolutionary victory in 1959, and the changes introduced by the new regime, which affected American interests, the logic of conflict began to determine such a relationship. This logic was driven by the Cold War, the conflict between the two global superpowers, the ideals that they sought to represent, and the geopolitical principles and actions that guided such a confrontation. In this context, Cuba developed a deep alliance (in all aspects) with the USSR and sought to promote a development within the Soviet socialism framework, which sharpened the conflict that became one of the most representative of this period. With the end of the Soviet bloc and the deepening of the US embargo and other actions, this conflict continued, albeit with its fundamentals and effectiveness increasingly questioned, as the main Cold War legacy in the region.

In this way, as can be seen, the relations between Cuba and the US have always been marked by the abnormality or the challenging arrangement of the balance between autonomy and dependency, between proximity and conflict.

As a result, Francisco López Segrera's book constitutes a fundamental text to understand the context and the dynamics of rupture and resumption of diplomatic ties. It also fills a gap that helps us to understand the dynamics of relations between Cuba and the US and, to some extent, the future of regional relations.

Francisco López Segrera is one of the most important of contemporary Cuban intellectuals. He holds a PhD in Latin American Studies at the University of Paris VIII (Sorbonne). He was deputy director of the Higher Institute of International Relations (ISRI) and currently is professor at this Institute, which is responsible for training Cuban diplomats. In addition, he was a UNESCO official from 1994 to 2009, acting as director of IESALC. He has worked as a visiting professor in numerous universities,1 including in Brazil, and currently, in addition to his work at ISRI, Segrera is Academic Adviser of the Global University Network for Innovation (GUN) and professor at the UNESCO Chair at the Technical University of Catalonia. He is also the author of numerous articles and approximately 30 books among which stand out: Cuba Cairá? (Vozes, Rio de Janeiro, 1995); 'Cuba sans l'URSS (1989-1995)' (Presses Universitaires, Septentrion, Lille, France 1997); Cuba después del colapso de la URSS (1989-1997) (UNAM, Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Humanities); El Mundo Real (Collection. …

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