Timeline: U.S.-Cuba relations

A look at the complicated relationship between the United States and Cuba. [21 photos total]

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January 1, 1959: U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista flees Cuba as Fidel Castro (R, waving) and his revolutionaries seize control. Two days later, on January 3, the U.S. breaks off diplomatic relations with Cuba after the nationalization of U.S.-owned properties. (REUTERS/Granma/Handout) #
April 16, 1961: Castro declares his revolution is socialist. The next day, CIA-backed Cuban exiles try to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, but are defeated. Pictured: Fidel Castro enters a public trial of captured members of the Bay of Pigs invasion (seated). (REUTERS/Prensa Latina) #
October 1962: The United States discovers Soviet nuclear missiles on Cuba, leading to a showdown with the Soviet Union that almost leads to war. The confrontation ends with the Russians removing the missiles and the United States agreeing never to invade Cuba and, secretly, pulling its missiles from Turkey. Pictured: President John F. Kennedy signs a proclamation for the interdiction of the delivery of offensive weapons to Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis, October 23, 1962. (REUTERS/Cecil Stoughton/The White House/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library) #
April-October 1980: Cuba allows 125,000 people to travel to the United States from the port of Mariel in what becomes known as the Mariel Boatlift. Pictured: A couple walk past the remains of the old Peruvian Embassy in Havana, where the 1980 Mariel boatlift originated with a rush on the diplomatic building by thousands of would-be Cuban immigrants to the United States. (REUTERS/Rafael Perez) #
December 1991: The Soviet Union, Cuba's biggest benefactor, collapses, touching off an economic crisis from which the island has not fully recovered. (REUTERS/Stringer) #
August-September 1994: More than 35,000 people leave Cuba in fragile boats, headed for the United States. (REUTERS/Rolando Pujol Rodriguez) #
March 1999: The Clinton administration approves a two-game exhibition series between the Baltimore Orioles and Cuban national baseball team, marking the first time a Major League Baseball team played in Cuba since 1959. Pictured: Fidel Castro talks with Orioles slugger Albert Belle prior to the game in Cuba. (REUTERS/Andy Clark) #
September 1998: Five Cuban intelligence officers, known as the "Cuban Five," are arrested and later convicted of espionage, conspiracy to commit murder and other illegal activities in the U.S. The five were eventually released, in a period from 2011-2014. (REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa) #
November 1999: Cuban child Elian Gonzalez is rescued from a capsized boat near the Florida coast, as he, his mother and her boyfriend attempted to reach the U.S. A custody battle erupts, pitting Castro's government against the Cuban-American community. The boy's maternal relatives sought to keep him in the U.S., but the boy's Cuban father finally won the legal battle in U.S. courts and took Elian home on June 28, 2000. (REUTERS/Alan Diaz/Pool) #
2002: In the months after September 11, portions of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, which opened in 1903, are turned into a detention center for enemy combatants. (REUTERS/Stringer) #
2004: Following George W. Bush's re-election, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declares Cuba to be one of the "outposts of tyranny" in the world. Later, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs John R. Bolton declares Castro's government as part of America's "axis of evil". (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque) #
July 31, 2006: Fidel Castro, seen here being visited by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, provisionally turns over power to his brother, Raul Castro, after undergoing emergency intestinal surgery. (REUTERS/Estudios Revolucion-Granma/Handout) #
February 24, 2008: The National Assembly elects Raul Castro to formally replace the ailing Fidel. (REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa) #
December 10, 2013: Barack Obama and Raul Castro shake hands at a state memorial service for Nelson Mandela. (REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach) #
December 2014: Cuba releases Alan Gross, 65, who had been imprisoned in Cuba for five years. Cuba convicted the U.S. Agency for International Development subcontractor to 15 years in prison after accusing him of importing banned technology and trying to establish a clandestine Internet service for Cuban Jews. Pictured: Gross embraces Tim Rieser, a member of Senator Patrick Leahy's office, on the tarmac as he disembarks from a U.S. government plane with wife Judy (L). (REUTERS/Jill Zuckman/Gross Family Spokesperson/Handout via Reuters) #
2013: Cuban and U.S. officials begin secret talks brokered in part by Pope Francis, and hosted in Canada and Vatican City. (REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins) #
January 16, 2015: The United States rolls out a sweeping set of measures to significantly ease sanctions on Cuba, opening up the country to expanded U.S. travel, trade and financial activities. Limited import of items such as Cuban cigars and rum to the U.S. is allowed, as is the export of American computer and telecommunications technology to Cuba. The 54-year-old U.S. embargo on Cuba remained in place - only Congress can lift it. (REUTERS/Stringer) #
July 1, 2015: Barack Obama announces formal diplomatic relations will resume, with embassies reopening in Washington and Havana. (REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini) #
August 14, 2015: U.S. Marines raise the American flag at the embassy in Cuba for the first time in 54 years, symbolically ushering in an era of renewed diplomatic relations between the two Cold War-era foes. (REUTERS/Stringer) #
March 21, 2016: Barack Obama makes a historic trip to Cuba, the first visit by a sitting U.S. president since 1928. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst) #
August 31, 2016: The first scheduled commercial passenger flight from the United States to Cuba in more than half a century lands. A JetBlue Airways Corp passenger jet arrived from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara. The route may be a commercial challenge, at least initially, but it is the first of a plethora of new flights by various U.S. airlines to destinations on the Communist-ruled island. (REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini) #

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