In January 1961, United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba. Relations between the United States and Cuba had been steadily declining since Castro seized power in early 1959. U.S. officials were soon convinced that Castro’s government was too anti-American to be trusted, and they feared that he might lead Cuba into the communist bloc.

Early in 1960, following Castro’s decision to sign a trade treaty with the Soviet Union, the Eisenhower administration began financing and training a group of Cuban exiles to overthrow the Cuban leader. Castro responded by increasing his program of nationalizing foreign property and companies. In return, the United States began to implement cutbacks in trade with Cuba. The diplomatic break on January 3, 1961 was the culmination of an increasingly acrimonious situation.

Severing relations marked the end of America’s policy of trying to resolve its differences with Castro’s government through diplomacy. It was only until 2015, that Cuba and the United States restored diplomatic relations. The US embargo against Cuba, that exists to this day, also holds its origins to the aforementioned conflict.