In February 1959 Fidel Castro was sworn in as Prime Minister of Cuba.

In April, Castro visited the U.S. on a “charm offensive” where Vice President Richard Nixon, described him as a sincere leader with naive ideas about communism who was going to be a great factor in the development of Cuba.

Although early in his regime Castro refused to categorize his government as socialist or communist, Castro appointed Marxists to senior government and military positions.

In the summer of 1959, Castro seized plantations and property previously held by foreign landowners and wealthy Cubans who had fled, and nationalized sugar production and oil refineries.

In February 1960, when I went on a winter break to Florida with high school senior friends. We saw signs in Key West advertising very cheap flights to Havana with hotel stay of 3 nights. We called our (shocked) parents when we arrived in Havana. “Norteamericanos y Cubanos son amigos,” Cubans we met told us …”pero nuestros gobiernos, no.”

Source: Wikipedia