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This chapter begins by briefly outlining problems and relations between nations in today’s world, tracing their roots to the Cold War period, and showing how Cuba’s current predicament echoes policies enacted then. It goes on to explore US-Cuba relations before and after the Cuban Revolution took power in 1959. It briefly covers the rebel war, then focuses on the Revolution’s early years of new law and nationalizations, as well as US overt and covert response to those changes, culminating in the break in diplomatic relations and establishment of a blockade and trade embargo still in effect 55 years later. It looks at Castro’s socialist proclamation and relations with the Soviet Union, explores the Revolution’s achievements, errors, and current situation. This is a brief history lesson for US readers who never knew, or don’t remember, the events. It sets the stage for Haydée’s story.

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