Cuban Expansionism

May 20, 1977

Report Outline
U.S. Relations with Cuba Today
America's Caribbean Interests
U.S. Response to Cuban Challenge
Special Focus

U.S. Relations with Cuba Today

Tentative Steps Toward Reconciliation

The Carter Administration is moving rapidly to normalize relations with Cuba after 17 years of bitterness, acrimony and mutual distrust. There are too many imponderables to predict how far the process of accommodation will go, but both sides have sent unmistakable signals of their desire to improve the political climate. Early in March, Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance proposed U.S.-Cuban talks, “without preconditions,” on a variety of issues. At the same time, the State Department gave permission to a South Dakota basketball team and to a group of Minnesota businessmen to travel to Cuba. On March 18, President Carter lifted all restrictions on travel to the island. Late in the month, diplomatic representatives of the two countries held talks in New York City on fishing rights and maritime boundaries.

Then in April, a U.S. delegation headed by Terence Todman, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, flew to Havana to conclude a formal agreement on maritime matters and fisheries. On his return to Washington, Todman said that in addition to negotiating the agreement, he had discussed a broad range of issues with Cuban Foreign Minister Isidoro Malmierca and that “the chances are good” for a gradual improvement of relations. Administration sources also hinted at an exchange of diplomatic representation on a limited basis.

Cuba appears to welcome the developing reconciliation. Fidel Castro has met personally with numerous groups of visiting American journalists, legislators and businessmen. Castro's brother, Raul, the No. 2 man in the Cuban government, recently told a group of American newsmen that “the war has ended.” Businessmen have been told by Cuban officials that substantial orders are in the offing if the U.S. trade boycott is lifted.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Jun. 12, 2015  Restoring Ties With Cuba
Jul. 20, 2007  Cuba's Future
Dec. 12, 1997  Castro's Next Move
Nov. 29, 1991  Cuba in Crisis
May 20, 1977  Cuban Expansionism
Dec. 19, 1973  Cuba After 15 Years
Jul. 03, 1968  Cuba Under Castro
Apr. 06, 1960  Subversion in Latin America
Jun. 25, 1930  Cuban-American Relations
Regional Political Affairs: Latin America and the Caribbean
U.S. at War: Cold War