Wednesday-Friday, June 29-July 1, 1960: Cuba nationalizes oil companies

Cuba nationalizes (i.e., confiscates without compensation) the refineries of the U.S. oil companies Texaco and Esso as well as Shell's British facility after their refusal to refine Soviet oil. (Nationalization of all U.S. businesses and commercial properties would follow in the coming weeks.) It's the latest incident in steadily increasing tensions involving the United States, the Soviet Union and Cuba. Preceding events included:

* February: Soviets agree to buy 5 million tons of Cuban sugar over 5 years.
* March 17: President Eisenhower approves an anti-Castro plan.
* April 19: Soviet oil begins to arrive in Cuba.
* May 8: Cuba establishes diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.
* May 17: Radio Swan, financed by the CIA and broadcasting anti-Castro propaganda, goes on the air.
* May 27: U.S. says it will cut off economic aid to Cuba within 180 days.
* June 7: U.S. oil companies refuse to refine Soviet oil.

* Video of Esso takeover (click on clip 7): @
* More about Radio Swan: @ and @

* Fidel Castro meets writer Ernest Hemingway at a fishing tournment in Cuba on May 15, 1960. More about Hemingway's ties to Cuba: @ and @ and @

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