Relations between the South American states of Cuba and Peru have been troubled since the Cuban revolution brought Fidel Castro to power in 1959. Like all other states in the Americas apart from Canada and Mexico, Peru broke off diplomatic relationships with the newly communist Cuba in the early 1960s. While diplomatic ties were re-established, the relationship has since been rocked by a succession of incidents. Tensions were aggravated by the Cold War, with Peru tending to side with the US, while Cuba was a loyal ally of the Soviet Union. A destabilizing factor specific to the bilateral relationship was the alleged Cuban support for the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, an antigovernment guerrilla force that operates in remote rural areas of Peru. The relationship remained rocky even after the cold war ended. An example incident followed Peru's support for a 2004 UN resolution critical of Cuba's human rights record. This prompted Fidel Castro to speak out strongly against Peru and her president, leading Peru to respond by recalling her ambassador. By 2010 the general improvement in Cuba's foreign relations that had followed the ascension of U.S. President Barack Obama had lost momentum. However both Cuba and Peru were quick to lay aside their differences as they co-operated in delivering humanitarian relief for victims of the 2010 Chile earthquake .
Mariel boatlift of 1980
A notable episode in the Cuba-Peru bilateral relationship occurred after a small group of Cuban citizens gained sanctuary in the Peruvian embassy by smashing through the perimeter fence in a bus. Cuba requested the defecting citizens be returned, but Peru refused, causing the relations to worsen between the two nations. After Cuba recalled the guards who were protecting the embassy, about 10,000 Cubans sought asylum there. Cuba then opened the port of Mariel so Cubans who wished to could leave, prompting the exodus of approximately 125,000 refugees.
Notes and references
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