Cuba: Documents Chart History of Secret Communications

16 December 2017 — National Security Archive

National Security Archive Publishes Major Collection of Records on History of U.S.-Cuba Dialogue

Documents Provide Historical Foundation for Obama-Castro Breakthrough

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No.614

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Washington D.C., December 15, 2017 With the approach of the 3rd anniversary of “17-D”—the iconic date of December 17, 2014, when President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro made public a historic breakthrough in U.S.-Cuba relations—the National Security Archive today announced the publication of a major collection of declassified records on the history of talks between the two nations.

The collection, Cuba and the U.S.: The Declassified History of Negotiations to Normalize Relations, 1959-2016, provides the historical foundation for the 18 months of back-channel diplomacy between Obama and Castro’s special emissaries, and the December 2014 agreement to resume full diplomatic ties.

Made up of over 1,700 declassified reports, memoranda of conversations, options papers, cables, intelligence assessments and secret communications between Washington and Havana, the new collection charts the initial breakdown of relations during the Eisenhower era, and subsequent bilateral attempts to re-build channels of communications, including secret talks to improve or normalize relations during subsequent administrations. Through the documentation, the collection tells the comprehensive stories of top secret efforts by Presidents Kennedy, Ford, Carter and Clinton to negotiate solutions to the conflict with Cuba, as well as Fidel Castro’s personal initiatives to reach out to multiple U.S. presidents with gestures of peaceful co-existence.

 

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THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding; its budget is supported by publication royalties and donations from foundations and individuals.