The United States recognized Cuba’s independence from Spain in 1898 at the close of the Spanish-American War. Although Cuba became a U.S. protectorate and the U.S. military occupied Cuba until 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt was sympathetic to the island’s independence movement. In 1902 when Cuba gained formal independence from the U.S., the American Legation was established in Havana. The legation was elevated to an embassy in 1923, but closed during Fidel Castro’s Cuban Revolution in the late 1950s. The United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961. The former embassy building reopened in 1977 as the U.S. Interests Section (USINT) and had renovations completed in 1997.
- Donating books and periodicals to a wide range of Cuban non-governmental organizations
- Sponsoring public awareness of civil society organizations through a distance learning course delivered by Massociedad, a Mexican online education portal
- Producing art contests and hosting filmmakers to support local diversity and culture
- Offering courses on conversational English
- Joining eleven other diplomatic Missions in Cuba to raise funds for disaster relief in Haiti and Chile through art auctions and food fairs