On January 3, 1961, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower broke diplomatic ties with Cuba. This action followed many months of serious disputes, actions and retaliations between the two countries, which commenced when Fidel Castro took power in 1959.
Early in 1960, Castro signed a trade treaty with the Soviet Union. The U.S. and Cuba both began accusing the other of placing spies in their embassies, and committing other breaches.
At the beginning of 1960, Cuba expropriated 70,000 acres of land held by U.S. sugar companies.
Also during 1961, the U.S. decreased imports from Cuba, eliminating many products, such as sugar in a trade blockade. Castro responded by increasing his program of nationalizing foreign property and companies. Then Castro ordered the reduction of workers in the U.S. Embassy.
Finally, Eisenhower officially broke diplomatic ties with Cuba on January 3, 1961.