13 Photos That Explain The U.S. Embargo Against Cuba

Fidel Castro, leader of Cuba's revolutionary forces, ponders questions at a press conference in Cienfuegos, Jan. 7, 1959. (AP Photo/Harold Valentine)

President Barack Obama’s announcement that the United States is opening an embassy in Cuba is one of the biggest changes in U.S.-Cuban relations in over five decades, spanning major events like the Cuban Revolution, Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Elian Gonzalez Affair.

After the Communist revolution was completed in 1959, the United States completely severed diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961. See a gallery of some of the most pivotal moments from the two countries’ tangled relationship below.


Col. Fulgencio Batista, who commanded the Cuban government’s armed forces, when he arrived in Camp Columbia, Havana, on November 12, 1933. (AP Photo)

Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro and Vice President Richard Nixon leaving Nixon’s office after a more-than-two-hour meeting on April 19, 1959. (AP Photo)

Fidel Castro, center, standing with Frank Martinez Paez, a surgeon in his army in February 1958. Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother, is on the right. (AP Photo)

American author Ernest Hemingway (left) and Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro chatting in Havana on May 15, 1960. (AP Photo)


Cuban soldiers celebrating after the failed U.S. invasion of the Bay of Pigs in Cuba, 1961. (AP Photo/Prensa Latina via AP Images/Miguel Vinas)


U.S. President John F. Kennedy talking with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy at the White House on Oct. 1, 1962, during the increasing military tensions between the Soviet Union and U.S. that would eventually become the Cuban missile crisis. (AP Photo)

President Kennedy telling Americans that the U.S. is establishing a naval blockade against Cuba, during an address on October 22, 1962, from the White House. (AP Photo/Bill Allen)


Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward (right) and Carl Bernstein (left), who led reporting on the Watergate investigation. E. Howard Hunt, one of the White House “plumbers” said the burglary happened because G. Gordon Liddy said he had information that the Cuban government was sending funds to the Democratic Party. (AP Photo)

Hunt, left, with exile Manuel Artime, who was a leader of the Bay of Bigs invasion. The two embraced after a news conference in Miami, March 3, 1977. (AP Photo)


A U.S. Marine helping a Cuban child off of a refugee boat that was part of the group of boats that came into Key West over weeks in 1980. Marines came in to help local authories handle the influx of refugees. (AP Photo/Fernando Yovera)


Elian Gonzalez being held by Donato Dalrymple who rescued the young boy off of the ocean. Government officials searched Lazaro Gonzalez’s Miami home for the young Gonzalez on April 22, 2000.(AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)


President Barack Obama talking with the National Security Council on Dec. 16, 2014 ahead of his announcement of the new policy on Cuba. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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