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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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Close, but No Cigar

(p.155) 5. Carter
Back Channel To Cuba

William M. LeoGrande

Peter Kornbluh

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the efforts of the Carter administration to normalize relations with Cuba, noting that no president before or since has made as determined an effort to normalize U.S.-Cuban relations. Carter’s personal belief in civil relations with friend and foe alike, Cuba’s reduced support for Latin American revolutions, and détente between the superpowers all led Carter toward normalization. But despite this clear presidential directive, the road to better relations was neither straight nor smooth. From the outset, senior U.S. officials were of two minds about the value of improving relations with Havana. And for Fidel Castro, improving relations with Washington was just one of several competing foreign policy objectives.

Keywords:   Carter administration, U.S.-Cuban relations, normalization, Fidel Castro, foreign policy objectives

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