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Yearbook 2008

Cuba. According to Countryaah reports, Raúl Castro became officially permanent president on February 24 when the National Assembly gathered to elect members of the Cabinet. The other members also represented the old guard, or los históricos de la revolución as they are called in Cuba, such as 77-year-old José Ramón Machado Ventura, a veteran who fought with Fidel Castro already in the famous attack on the Moncada facility in 1953 and later in the guerrilla war. in Sierra Maestra. The average age of the Cabinet is now 70 years.

However, several observers believe that Raúl Castro, as permanent president, will take renewal measures in Cuban society that would previously have been considered counter-revolutionary. Some already came during the year, both at the domestic and foreign policy levels. Among other things, restrictions on the purchase of electrical appliances and private individuals 'access to mobile phones, rental cars and tourist hotels were removed, and the state pharmacies' monopoly on prescription drugs was abolished. Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque also sent positive signals to US newly elected President Barack Obama by rejecting the possibility for Cuba to house Russian bases, which President Vladimir Putin hinted at in Russia's strained relations with the United States and NATO.

In response to the changes that have taken place since Raúl Castro took power in Cuba, the EU decided at the end of June to abolish the sanctions introduced in 2003, and Cuba, in turn, declared itself ready to reactivate the political dialogue with the EU.

In July, seven people were killed by hurricanes Gustav and Ike, which also destroyed 63,000 houses and damaged up to half a million houses.

2008 Cuba

1994 New boat refugees to the United States

In April 1994, the first meeting was held in a series of more in Habana on the theme "The Nation and the Emigration". The meeting was convened by Foreign Minister Roberto Robaina, and a number of exile Cuban groups participated. Shortly after, it came to a series of episodes in Habana where people illegally wanted to leave the country on very rudimentary raft. When Cuba declared during the summer that it would not impede these so-called "balseros", it forced the United States to the negotiating table in order to conclude a new agreement on the legal emigration from Cuba to the United States.

In July of that year, Cuba was admitted as a member of the Caribbean trade cooperation, Caricom. The purpose of the admission was to ensure greater integration of the Cuban into the regional economy, as well as to secure a number of customs and trade benefits. In 1995, the government deficit fell for the third year in a row due to a reduction in public services and subsidies. The state created legal exchange offices that exchanged dollars and Cuban pesos, and at the same time made it legal to hold dollars. Parliament passed a new investment law that made it legal to create 100% foreign-owned companies - even with exile Cuban capital. In response, the United States Helms-Burton passed the law to allow foreign companies to trade with Cuba through third countries.

In February 1996, Cuban fighter aircraft fired two small aircraft into Cuban airspace. They had been sent from the exile Cuban group in Miami - "Hermanos al Rescate" - to throw pamphlets across Habana facing the Cuban government. The shooting led to new polemics with the United States claiming the shooting had taken place in international airspace. US President Bill Clinton used the episode to ratify the Helms-Burton law. The same year, Amnesty International criticized the imprisonment of several people from the dissident group, Concilio Cubano. Acc. Amnesty consists of 140 groups of journalists, academics and professional opposition people. The Cuban government, on the other hand, is linking the group to US intervention efforts.

The Helms-Burton law prevented Cuba from obtaining loans from international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF. Nevertheless, the foreign companies continued their investments in Cuba through the use of a number of tricks such as. not to figure under their own names. Economic reforms therefore continued. The banks were allowed to extend their service, and by decree, economic free zones were created in June that are exempt from taxes. By mid-1996, productivity had increased by 8% compared to 1995, while GDP had increased by 9.6%.

The exile Cubans in Miami and the declared counter-revolutionaries suffered two major "defeats" in late 1997. The first was the death of Más Canosa on November 23. For almost a lifetime he had been the leader of the most reactionary exile Cubans in the United States. The second defeat was when Castro managed to secure a visit by Pope John Paul II to Cuba. Since the PCC congress in 1991 and the amendments to the constitution in 1992, relations between Cuba and the papacy have improved dramatically. Among other things. the pope had also condemned the US boycott of Cuba. As a taste of the pope's visit in January 1998, Castro declared Christmas Day for National Day.

The Pope's visit took place 21-25. January 1998 and was an international political victory for Castro, who continues to seek a solution to the US clamor in the 1970's.

In April 1998, Cuba and Grenada resumed diplomatic relations that had been severed by the US invasion of Grenada in 1983. Granada's Prime Minister Keith Mitchell made an official visit to Cuba, signing an economic cooperation agreement.

In February 1999, the United Nations Commission on Historical Investigation declared that the United States had supported Guatemalan military during its massacre of the country's civilian population from the 1960's to the 80's. But at the same time, the Commission stated that Cuba had supported the guerrilla in Guatemala - with weapons.

The permanent conflict between Cuba and the changing North American governments caught fire in November 1999, when boy Elián González was the only survivor after a boat of Cuban refugees sank en route to Miami. While the boy's father in Cuba demanded to have his son extradited from the United States, exile Cuban groups in the United States decided to use the boy as part of their fight against Cuba. They ignored the decision of the North American Attorney General to return Elián to his country of birth, and instead, through contacts in Congress, sought to secure him North American citizenship. In Cuba, too, Elián became a symbol and triggered huge demonstrations as a symbol of the fight against the United States, and the blockade of the superpower over 40 years had exposed Cuba. It took 4 months for a US specialty unit '

In November 2001, Hurricane Michelle hit the country with gusts of up to 220 km per hour. 20 people died, 481,000 had to be evacuated and buildings and crops destroyed. For the first time in 40 years, the United States sent humanitarian aid to the country to alleviate the effects of the disaster.

From December, the United States began transferring hundreds of prisoners of war from Afghanistan to its military base in Guantanamo. The US accused them of being members of the Al Qaeda terrorist network and at the same time denied them the protection they were entitled to. 4. Geneva Convention. The US defense of this violation of prisoners' rights was that they were "illegal combatants". An invented concept for the occasion.


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