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Before Obama, a Long History of Attempted US-Cuba Detente

After the U.S. military’s failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the Cuban missile crisis the following year, President John F. Kennedy chose a different tack on U.S.-Cuban relations by engaging in back channel negotiations with Prime Minister Fidel Castro. The talks made enough progres that, declassified documents show, a few months after Kennedy was assassinated, Castro sent a secret message to his successor, President Lyndon Johnson, who was up for reelection in 1964. “If the...

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