- Philip Bonsal
Philip Bonsal (1903-1995) was a United States foreign
diplomatand the last United States Ambassador to Cuba. [ [http://www.cubasocialista.cu/texto/csi0013.htm Moncada: A Vision From Afar] Arnaldo Silva León ]
Bonsal was born in
New Yorkin 1903, his father was Stephen Bonsal, a well-known Far Eastern correspondent. Bonsal became Ambassadorto Colombia1955, Bolivia1957-59, Cuba1959-60 and Morocco1961-62. [ [http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/bondurant-boog.html The political graveyard] biographies] Prior to becoming an ambassador Bonsal had been chief of the Latin American Division and an employee of AT&Tin Cuba, he was considered a " Latin Americanhand" due to his apparent Latinobackground. After his brief spell as Ambassador to Cuba, Bonsal published the book "Cuba, Castro and the United States".
In 1959 Bonsal became the first United States Ambassador to return to Cuba after the
Cuban revolutionand reportedly attempted to find a working arrangement with the leader of the new Cuban government, Fidel Castro. Bonsal admitted that "animosity was inevitable", but he was hopeful that "at some point we can get down to a reasoned dialogue". [ [http://www.fiu.edu/~fcf/diplobrk1101.html Diplomat Recalls Cuba Break in 1961] Wayne Smith Library of Congress country notes According to reports] Castro was critical of the arrival of Bonsal in the Cuban press comparing him to a colonial Viceroy, [ [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=95138335 Cuba: The United States and Batista, 1952-58] Hugh Thomas] and dialogue was not easily forthcoming. On September 4, 1959 Bonsal met with Castro to express “serious concern at the treatment being given American private interests in Cuba both agriculture and utilities.” Castro responded by saying he “admires Americans, especially tourists, for whom he is planning great things.” [ [http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/bayofpigs/chron.html Department of State] Cable Ambassador Report on Meeting With Castro, September 4 1959]
Bonsal's reconcillatory approach was also poorly received by leading members of the
United States Congress, who felt his methods were an appeasement of communism. [ [http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/melby3.htm] Transcript of an Interview with John F Melby US Foreign Service Officer Truman Presidential museaum and library] He was withdrawn after serving barely a year in office. Formal diplomatic relations between the two countries were severed shortly after, and current US diplomatic representation in Cuba is handled by the United States Interests Section in Havanawhich remains part of the embassy of Switzerland.
Cuba-United States relations
History of Cuba
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