AbstractBefore the 1959 Cuban Revolution, British governments and diplomats in Havana sought to protect their interests in Cuba, always sensitive to reactions from Washington – a vital transatlantic ally with a significant political and economic stake in the Caribbean island. After the Second World War, the allies continued their wartime cooperation over sugar supplies, with Cuba’s mainstay export still important to Britain’s refining industry and ongoing food rationing. Following two democratically-elected but highly corrupt Cuban governments, both the US State Department and the British Foreign Office came to recognise the benefits of strongman Fulgencio Batista’s abrupt return to Cuba’s political scene in 1952. Everything changed, however, when the Fidel Castro-led anti-Batista insurgency gained strength between late 1956 and 1958, and London and Washington became increasingly concerned about a political upheaval beyond US control. The issue of arms sales to Cuba became a touchstone not only of US and British policy toward Batista’s regime, but also of Anglo-American cooperation. When it came, Castro’s revolutionary triumph questioned the strength of US hegemony in its hemisphere.
CitationHull, C. (2020). ‘The Limits of Anglo-American Cooperation in Cuba, 1945–1959’, in Rory M. Miller & Thomas C. Mills (eds.), Britain and the Growth of US Hegemony in Twentieth-Century Latin America: Competition, Cooperation and Coexistence (Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 229-50.
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