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.
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
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.