What’s in it for me? Get insight into a complicated geopolitical relationship.

Most people have had an unsavory neighbor. But the enmity between the United States and Cuba, just 90 miles off the Florida coast, takes neighborly ill will to a whole other level. Over the last 50 years, their relationship has been cool at best and boiling toward war at worst. All the while, however, through all this turmoil, negotiations between the two countries have continued.

They’ve taken different forms during different US administrations. Sometimes negotiations took the form of direct discussions between the US president and Cuba’s president, Fidel Castro; more often than not, though, they’ve occurred through different back channels. So, let’s go back in history to see how it all started and what has happened since.

In these blinks, you’ll find out

  • how President John F. Kennedy used an ace negotiator to sustain relations with Cuba;
  • what the Freedom Flotilla is and how it affected the Carter administration; and
  • how one electorally important state influenced the Cuba policy during Clinton’s presidency.