FIDEL'S OBSESSION WITH US & OUR OBSESSION WITH HIM SHAPED CASTRO'S RULE
Havana (JFK+50) When Fidel Castro* came to power in 1959, the United States officially recognized his government but when he established a cozy relationship with the Soviet Union and expropriated American oil refineries on the island, the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba.
President John F. Kennedy gave his approval for an invasion at the Bay of Pigs on April 17, 1961 carried out by Cuban refugees trained by the United States. The failure of the invasion put a black mark on the promising new presidential administration.
After the United States placed economic sanctions on Cuba and the resolution of the subsequent Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the Organization of American States also broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Anthony DePalma of the New York Times writes that "it was (Castro's) obsession with the United States, and America's obsession with him, that shaped his rule." Fidel "bedeviled 11...presidents" in the process and despite Washington's efforts to depose him, Castro "held onto power longer than any other national leader except Queen Elizabeth II."
The death of Fidel Castro was announced early this morning by Cuba's state television. He had stepped down in deference to his brother Raul in 2006 and resigned as president in 2008, but Fidel's attitude toward the United States did not mellow.
When President Barack Obama's administration moved to open diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba, Castro said that his country was the only one in the world that DID NOT need to trade with the United States.
*Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born in Biran, Cuba. His father had fought in the Cuban War for Independence on the side of Spain and in the Spanish-American War. Castro, who was raised in wealth, studied law at the University of Havana.
In the late 1940s, Castro moved politically to the left as he supported the views of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin.
Fidel Castro, who led in the overthrow of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, served as prime minister (1959-1976), president (1976-2008), and 1st secretary of the Communist Party (1961-2011).
"Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied U.S. Dies at 90," by Anthony DePalma, November 26, 2016, The New York Times, www.nytimes.com/
"Fidel Castro," www.biography.com/