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Back Channel To CubaThe Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana$
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William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469626604

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626604.001.0001

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Castro Reaches Out

(p.79) 3. Johnson
Back Channel To Cuba

William M. LeoGrande

Peter Kornbluh

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter shows how Kennedy’s initiative took on a life of its own as Havana and Washington sustained an ongoing dialogue through intermediaries and third countries during the Johnson administration. A number of the programs Johnson inherited from the Kennedy administration—covert sabotage, exile paramilitary operations, and the trade embargo—would become tools in the former’s “pinch” policies, as the new administration moved to step up economic and diplomatic pressures to isolate Cuba in the region. But despite crises over Cuban involvement in Latin America, confrontation over seized fishing boats, U.S. efforts to regionalize the embargo, and the U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic to prevent “another Cuba,” the back-channel communications with Castro continued, eventually reaching into the Oval Office.

Keywords:   Johnson administration, Kennedy administration, Latin America, economic pressures, diplomatic pressures, Cuban involvement, back-channel communications

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