Kagenmi/iStock/Thinkstock(HAVANA) — Fidel Castro ruled Cuba beginning in 1959 — when he became the island nation’s prime minister — until 2008, when he transferred power to his brother, Raul Castro. Below, key milestones in modern US-Cuba relations:
1933: Fulgencio Batista seized power. He would go on to become a dictator.
1959: After leading a guerilla army into Havana and deposing Batista, Fidel Castro became Cuba’s prime minister.
1962: With diplomatic relations breaking down, the United States imposed the economic embargo, which remains intact to this day.
1961: CIA-backed Cuban exiles launched a failed invasion of the Bay of Pigs.
1962: The placement of Soviet nuclear weaponry on the island triggered the Cuban Missile Crisis. The 13-day drama was the closest time that the Cold War got to turning kinetic.
1991: The collapse of the Soviet Union – the island nation’s biggest patron – triggered an economic crisis in Cuba.
1996: Cuban jets shot-down two small planes operated by Brothers to the Rescue, an activist group.
1998: U.S. authorities apprehend the Cuban Five – a group of spies.
1999-2000: The custody battle between family members in Florida and Cuba over Elian Gonzalez, a young boy who was rescued when a boat ferrying him to the U.S. overturned, captivates the world. Gonzalez was ultimately returned to Cuba.
2008: Fidel Castro transfer power to his brother, Raúl Castro.
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.