1960: US breaks off diplomatic relations and imposes trade embargo
1961: US backs failed Bay of Pigs invasion; Fidel Castro proclaims Cuba a communist state and begins to ally with USSR
1962: Fearing US invasion, Castro allows USSR to deploy nuclear missiles in Cuba. Crisis takes the two superpowers to brink of nuclear war
1980: Around 125,000 Cubans, many of them released convicts, flee to the US when Castro temporarily lifts restrictions
1993: US tightens embargo, which introduces some market reforms amid economic woe following collapse of the Soviet Union
1999: Cuban child Elian Gonzalez picked up in refugee boat off Florida coast and placed with relatives in Florida, against wishes of father in Cuba. After numerous court decisions, US federal agents seize him to return to father
2002: US Under-Secretary of State John Bolton adds Cuba to "axis of evil"
2014: President Obama announces moves to normalise diplomatic and economic ties in a "new chapter" of US-Cuba relations
Mexico – Attackers have ambushed a police convoy in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, killing 15 state police officers and wounding five as bullets riddled their vehicles in the deadliest single attack on Mexican police in recent memory it was reported on the 8 Apr 15. The attack happened late on the 6 Apr 15 as the convoy travelled on a rural road between the Pacific coast resort of Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara, the state capital. The death toll exceeded that of what had been the largest attack on law enforcement, an assault that killed 12 federal police officers in neighbouring Michoacan state in 2010. Jalisco is home to a drug cartel known as Jalisco New Generation, which experts say is now among Mexico's most powerful. Prosecutors would not confirm the gang was involved on the 6 Apr night's attack, but it was hard to imagine any rival gang launching such a large attack on Jalisco's home turf. While Alejandro Solorio, state security commissioner, did not say how the attack was carried out, he said the convoy was ambushed in a "cowardly attack". Raul Benitez, a security expert at Mexico's National Autonomous University, said that "the serious thing about this attack was that it was very well planned and orchestrated, with a military-style strategy". Local media reported that a vehicle was hijacked, parked across the two-lane road and set on fire to force the convoy to stop. "This was planned. A lot of gunmen were involved. They blocked the highway to surround them [police] and attack with military superiority," said Benitez. He said it was the first time a cartel appeared to be mounting a direct, head-on challenge to authorities. Gunmen from other cartels have been known to open fire on police and soldiers, but it is usually because they are being pursued and want to escape capture, he said.
United States – The FBI has arrested two women on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack, similar to the Boston bombing it was reported on the 3 Apr 15. A Brooklyn court charged Asia Siddiqui and Noelle Velentzas with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. The two women, US citizens, spoke only to say they understood the charges. They had referred to themselves as "citizens of the Islamic State", prosecutors allege, and Ms Siddiqui had several gas tanks and instructions on turning them into bombs. Ms Siddiqui "had repeated contact with members of the foreign terrorist organisation al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula" the court documents said. Her accomplice, Ms Velentzas, referred to Osama Bin Laden as a hero, according to the US Department of Justice. "The defendants allegedly plotted to wreak terror by creating explosive devices and even researching the pressure cooker bombs used during the Boston Marathon bombing," said Assistant Director in Charge Diego Rodriguez, of the FBI's New York Field Office. The justice department said the two women have plotted to build an explosive device since at least August of last year and studied chemistry and electricity. They did not have a specific target but at one point considered Herald Square in Manhattan, according to the court documents. Ms Velentzas when questioned said why people would try to travel overseas when there were targets in the US that provided opportunities for "pleasing Allah", the justice department said.
United States/Saudi Arabia/Pakistan – the United States and Saudi Arabia on the 7 Apr 15 sanctioned a Pakistani charity for allegedly financing violent extremist groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan under the guise of humanitarian work. The sanctions target the Al-Furqan Foundation Welfare Trust, which the U.S. Treasury said had changed its name to avoid prior U.S. sanctions. "We are committed to exposing terrorist financiers, especially those who masquerade as charities," Adam Szubin, Treasury's acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement. The Treasury said its sanctions would shut Al-Furqan out of the U.S. financial sector and prohibit and Americans from doing business with the organization.
United States – A 20-year-old US citizen has been charged with attempting to explode a car bomb at Fort Riley in Manhattan, Kansas it was reported on the 10 Apr 15. John T Booker Jr was making final preparations to carry out the suicide attack on behalf of the Islamic State (IS), the FBI said. Mr Booker previously had tried to join the Army, but was denied entry because of internet posts about "jihad". Authorities say that US personnel were never in danger. He is the latest American to be arrested for attempted support of IS. Two Chicago men were arrested in late Mar 15 for attempting to provide material support to the organization. Booker, also known as Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, enlisted in the military "with the intent to commit an insider attack against American soldiers," according to the FBI complaint. He had "formulated several plans for committing jihad once enlisted", including shooting soldiers on the firing range and kidnapping a high-ranking officer.