The US Blockade on Cuba Must End

1960s: Days of Rage

Richard Nixon, then Dwight D. Eisenhower’s vice president, met with Cuba’s Fidel Castro on April 19, 1959, in Washington, DC.

“… The US blockade on Cuba has been a key part of Washington’s long-standing war on the country, launched shortly after Fidel Castro led a revolution overthrowing the country’s US-backed military dictatorship in 1959. Things didn’t start out entirely hostile. The Eisenhower administration publicly took a cagey wait-and-see attitude toward the new government. Meeting with Castro for three and a half hours, then–vice president Richard Nixon advised him, according to a post-meeting memo, ‘that it was the responsibility of a leader not always to follow public opinion but to help to direct it in proper channels, not to give the people what they think they want at a time of emotional stress but to make them want what they ought to have.’ With a tinge of regret, Nixon recounted…

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