The U.S. government feared from the beginning that Fidel Castro was a communist, even though he said at first that he wasn’t.
He nationalized private businesses, including U.S. owned industries and plantations. This meant he took them as property of the state, without paying the previous owners for what he had taken.
He executed or imprisoned opponents on the island. He asked the U.S. government for economic aid. When the United States refused, he formed an alliance with the Soviet Union, the principal adversary of the United States.
In 1961, he openly avowed that he was a Marxist-Leninist. By then, the United States had already broken off diplomatic relations with Cuba.
The United States banned travel or trade between the countries, a ban that still stands, although restrictions were eased in 1998.