Why have England and the U.S. been obsessed with control of Cuba's capital? Elena Schneider delves into the history.
The United States’ troubled relationship with Cuba goes back much further than most think. As I explain in my book, The Occupation of Havana: War, Trade, and Slavery in the Atlantic World (UNC Press: 2018), the conflict started well before the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis or even Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders’ infamous charge up San Juan Hill. Scroll back across the 19th century, but its origins lie further still, even earlier than the peak of U.S. annexationist interest in Cuba before the Civil War when U.S. filibusterers plotted to invade and annex the island at the height of slave-state expansionism.