Video by Vox helps tourists understand history of U.S.-Cuba conflict

Posted: 28-Apr-16 15:16

In December 2014 the governments of the United States and Cuba started negotiations to end the long-standing political tensions between both countries. Many people think that the conflict between the neighbouring nations originated in the late 1950s as part of the Cold War, but, in fact, the conflict dates back to the 19th century. Vox.com gives details about the 200-year story of the two neighbours in a video that every traveller considering a trip to Cuba should see.

Video by Vox helps tourists understand history of U.S.-Cuba conflict

As a socialist and politically isolated nation Cuba is an interesting destination for many tourists, but after its government and the White House kicked off a process of negotiations to end a long-standing bilateral conflict, the island seems to be even more appealing for travellers interested in history and politics. An animated video from vox.com offers the most important clues for understanding the background of the recent diplomatic moves.

Vox explains that the conflict did not originate in the 1950s as part of the Cold War´s communist and capitalist confrontation, but hostilities date back to the 19th century when the United States began to define its position regarding the rest of the American continent. As part of its imperialist policy, the U.S decided to intervene in the Cuban-Spanish war in 1989 and, by 1902, it had gained control over the island´s political affairs, established naval and coal bases in its territory, and reserved the U.S. government and army the right to intervene in the country.

The video explains how during the 30 following years the northern nation maintained its imperial strategy toward Cuba, which declined when Franklin D. Roosevelt came into power. The U.S. government played a key role in backing dictator Fulgencio Batista to be elected president before Fidel Castro and the guerrilla movement overthrew his government in 1959.

Jonny Harris and Max Fisher, the authors of the video, explained in an article published by Vox website:

“When you see that imperial legacy, and the way it´s been experienced by Cubans, the history starts to make a lot of more sense.”

In the video they also mention the origins of the embargo, a policy imposed by the U.S. on the island in the 1960s aimed at strangling Cuba's economy. Despite the recent negotiations between Barack Obama's and Raul Castro's governments, the embargo is still standing. According to Harris and Fisher:

“Now Americans don’t really support the embargo. Lots of Cuban-Americans are now economic migrants rather than political exiled, so they want openness.”

Referring to the reasons that create tensions between both countries and the nature of the recent governmental talks, the authors finally point out:

“They U.S. and Cuba never had normal relations until now, and that is crucial for understanding why it took so long for this to happen.”

The resolution of the historic conflict could be very beneficial for U.S. citizens willing to go to Cuba. Previously they had been affected by the travel and trade embargo, which, over the last five decades, stood in the way of allowing them to travel to the Caribbean country as tourists.

In this respect, many positive changes can be traced since the negotiation process kicked off, as measures implemented by the White House are enabling more people to go to the island through different travel categories. Direct commercial flights are due to resume early this year, while boats offered by Carnival Cruise Corp. are due to set sail from Florida to Havana this May.

As a result the number of U.S. travellers going to Cuba has increased dramatically, showing a surge of more than a 94 percent in the last four months, as a report from Caribbean News indicated earlier this week.


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