Cuba vs US: How Havana is turning to Putin as 's war of words backfires

When former Secretary of State John Kerry officiated the reopening of the embassy that had been closed for 44 years, it was seen as a landmark shift in relations between Cuba and the US. The two countries severed ties following Fidel Castro’s revolution in 1959 and Havana’s subsequent alliance with the Soviet Union. The 2015 ceremony – labelled “historic” by Mr Kerry – was initially thought to be the start of thawing relations, but aggressive policy from US President Donald appears to have reversed any diplomatic progress.

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At the time, the global mood was positive about a future relationship between the two countries.

BBC’s Jon Sopel said: “On both sides, US-Cuban relations are entering a new era, and though there will be difficulties ahead and fresh misunderstandings, for those who had brought this restoration of diplomatic relations about, today was one to savour in the Caribbean heat.”

Even Cuban President Raul Castro, who, alongside brother Fidel, had vehemently opposed US imperialism and global policy, spoke of his optimism.

He claimed: "A new stage will begin, long and complex, on the road toward normalisation.

Trump has reignited past conflicts has reignited past conflicts (Image: GETTY)

The grand opening in 2015The grand opening in 2015 (Image: GETTY)

"[It] will require the will to find solutions to the problems that have accumulated over more than five decades and hurt ties between our nations and peoples."

Prior to the embassy opening, Cuba was suffering under crippling sanctions from the White House.

Tightened after the collapse of the Soviet Union, President George H.W Bush signed the Cuban Democracy Act in 1992 which complemented the economic embargo already placed on the country.

This was reaffirmed when Castro built an alliance with former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

READ MORE: US taking 'close look' at Putin's warships as it 'heads to Venezuela'

The move was welcomed globally at the timeThe move was welcomed globally at the time (Image: GETTY)

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It is believed that the effect of the sanctions

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