Revolutionary Period 1959
Fidel Castro assumed command and began consolidation of power. Castro visited Caracas, the United States, Canada, and Buenos Aires. First Agrarian Reform Law promulgated.
Castro became prime minister and replaced Manuel Urrutia with his hand-picked candidate, Osvaldo Dorticós. Major Camilo Cienfuegos died in a plane crash. Major Huber Matos sentenced to twenty years in jail.
Cuba and the Soviet Union signed a commercial treaty and reestablished diplomatic relations. Major foreign businesses were confiscated by the government. Transportation, banking, communications, and the media and educational systems were taken over by the government. Central Planning Board (JUCEPLAN) created to plan and direct the economy. The Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) were organized. Castro issued the declaration of Havana, claiming Cuba’s right to export revolution and calling for Soviet support. The Soviet government purchased Cuban sugar the United States had refused to buy. Soviet bloc armaments began arriving in Cuba.
The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba. Fidel Castro proclaimed the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution. U.S.-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion was defeated. The United States declared an embargo on trade with Cuba. The Cuban government proceeded to socialize the economy. Castro declared himself to be a Marxist-Leninist.
Cuba was expelled from the Organization of American States. Castro issued the Second Declaration of Habana, calling for continued revolution at home and abroad. Castro formed the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations (ORI), an amalgamation of revolutionary groups and the Communists. The Cuban government introduced rationing of most items, including food. The Cuban missile crisis brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear conflict.
Castro visited the Soviet Union for the first time. Second Agrarian Reform Law was issued. Support for revolutionary and terrorist groups, particularly in Venezuela, increased. Cuba refused to sign the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Castro visited the Soviet Union, signed a long-term trade agreement providing for Cuban sugar deliveries for 1965-1970 of twenty-four million tons at a fixed price of U.S. $.06 per pound. Marcos A. Rodríguez tried and executed. Partido Socialista Popular leaders purged. Castro announced that Cuba would produce ten million tons of sugar in 1970, signaling a return to dependence on one agricultural crop and the abandonment of plans for major industrialization. Conference of Latin American Communist Parties held in Havana subscribed to the Soviet line.
Cuba participated in the Consultative Meeting of Communist Parties held in Moscow. Ernesto “Che” Guevara initiated a series of trips to Asia and Africa to promote anti-U.S. violence. Three-year Soviet-Cuban trade agreement signed. Fidel Castro assumed greater personal control over the economy. Cuban Communist Party (PCC) created. Cuba allowed for the exodus of tens of thousands of Cubans. Castro rejected the Communist doctrine on “the leading role” of Communist parties in the revolutionary struggle and criticized bitterly Latin American Communist parties for not supporting guerrilla warfare.
Cuba and China criticized each other, straining relations. Tricontinental Conference held in Havana, and the Organization for the Solidarity of the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America (OSPAAL) was founded to support anti-American revolutionary and terrorist groups. Castro and delegates from most Latin American leftist groups formed the Latin American Solidarity Organization (LASO). The economic situation continued to deteriorate, and Castro proclaimed the supremacy of moral over material incentives.
Castro admitted to Cuban-Soviet disagreement over Cuban support for guerrilla activities in Latin America. First Latin American Solidarity Organization (LASO) conference held in Havana. Flights resumed to take U.S. citizens out of Cuba after one-year suspension. Che Guevara killed in Bolivia. Castro sent weapons and provided training to the PLO and the National Front for the Liberation of South Yemen. Cuba refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Cuba published a book by French Marxist Regis Debray, Revolution in the Revolution, promoting guerrilla warfare in Latin America.
The microfraction, nine pro-Soviet members of the Central Committee including Anibal Escalante, were tried as “traitors to the revolution” and received jail terms. All remaining private businesses except small agricultural plots were confiscated. The University of Havana was placed under strict military discipline and control following student demonstrations. Castro made a major address justifying the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Castro supported and trained Colombian guerrillas.
Castro committed Cuba to a long-range agricultural-development plan, thereby postponing the country’s move to industrialization. The United States and Cuba signed an agreement to return passengers abroad airliners hijacked to Cuba. Cuba became the first nation to establish formal relations with the Vietcong (National Liberation Front). Cuba participated in the Moscow-based World Conference of Communist Parties. Soviet defense minister Marshall Andrei Grechko visited Cuba. Soviet naval squadron visited the island for the first time.
Castro announced the capture of leaders of exile group Alpha 66, which had landed in Cuba in April. A “mini Manual for Revolutionaries” was published in the official LASO publication Tricontinental, written by Brazilian urban terrorist Carlos Marighella. The manual gives precise instructions in terror tactics, kidnappings, etc. Cuba’s attempt to produce ten million tons of sugar failed, and the Labor Ministry reported the productivity among sugar workers was so low that the cost of the 1970 harvest was three times higher than its value on the world market. Economic problems compelled Castro to replace several civilian ministers with military officers. The possibility of a Soviet naval base in Cienfuegos led to a diplomatic exchange between the United States and the Soviets and a final statement by the latter that they were not building “military bases in Cuba… [nor] doing anything that would contradict the understanding reached between the governments of the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. in 1962.” Cuba faced economic crisis with declines in production in almost all sectors, and the Labor Ministry attributed the problems to “wide-spread passive resistance” by all workers. Castro called for closer ties with the Soviet Union and acknowledged that forms of struggle other than Castroism were possible in Latin America. A joint Inter-Governmental Soviet-Cuban Commission for Economic, Scientific, and Technological Cooperation was established, and Carlos Rafael Rodriguez was appointed chairman.
Castro urged Cubans to work harder to increase low level of productivity of Cuban economy. Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin visited Cuba. Castro visited Salvador Allende in Chile. Cuba and the Soviet Union signed a long-term economic and trade agreement.
The Cuban government withdrew 600 million pesos from circulation (out of 3 billion total) to combat inflation. Castro toured Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union on official visits. Cuba was formally admitted as the ninth member of COMECON, the Soviet bloc’s economic alliance. Castro signed a new long-term Soviet-Cuban economic agreement, whereby Cuba’s large debt to the Soviets was deferred to 1986, after which time it would be repaid over the next twenty-five years at no interest. Castro announced a major reorganization of administration strengthening the structural capacity of the government to manage major economic activities.
The United States and Cuba signed an agreement on hijacking. Castro supported a pan-Latin-American regional grouping that would exclude the U.S. An experiment in local government, Poder Popular (People’s Power) was begun in Matanzas province. At a meeting of the Confederation of Cuba Labor (CTC), Castro announced the abandonment of moral incentives and the establishment of Soviet-type norms for the labor force in an attempt to increase productivity. At the conference of Non-Aligned Countries in Algiers, Castro praised the Soviets and attacked the theory of two imperialism espoused by other no-aligned leaders.
CSoviet party leader Leonid Brezhnev visited Cuba on official mission. Cuban-Argentine trade agreement of $1.2 billion signed---the largest between Cuba and any Latin American nation. Cuba provided military support and personnel to Syria during the Yom Kippur War. President Ford indicated U.S. support of the Organization of American States’ move to improve relations between member nations and Cuba. Castro created the American Department (DA) under the Communist Party. The DA became responsible for planning and coordinating Cuba’s secret guerrilla and terrorist camps, networks for the covert movement of personnel and weapons from Cuba, and a propaganda apparatus. Cuban Foreign Minister Raul Roa Garcia at United Nations declared there would be no normalized moves with the United States until the latter had lifted its economic blockade. Cuba stepped up its training and support of Communist groups in Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and Angola.
Cuban voter referendum on new constitution provided for National Assembly with five-year terms for those elected (by Cubans sixteen and older). Also involved, a thirty-one-member State Council with a president, a first vice-president, and five second vice-presidents. The United States eased restrictions on exports to Cuba by foreign subsidiaries of American companies; direct trade rained embargoed. The United States reported Cuban soldiers and advisers in Angola to support the Marxist group MPLA. Castro presided over first Cuban Communist Party Congress, which approved Cuba’s new Socialist constitution and five-year economic plan.
Cuba announced it would not withdraw troops from Angola supporting the MPLA. U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger warned Cuba about its intervention in Angola. Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau visited Cuba. Cuba informed Sweden of its intention to withdraw half its troops from Angola by December 1976. Castro accused the United States of sabotage in the crash of a Cuban passenger jet near Barbados. Cuba’s new socialist constitution was promulgated.
COMECON announced decision to build a nuclear-power station in Cuba. Week of Cuban solidarity with Nicaragua held in Havana. Castro visited Africa and the Soviet Union and agreed with Brezhnev to continue support for national liberation movements. Castro and Jamaican prime minister Michel Manley exchanged official visits to each other’s countries. President Jimmy Carter eased travel restrictions on U.S. citizens to Cuba, and “interest” sections of consular officials were set up in Washington and Havana. Cuban military advisers and combat troops entered Ethiopia. All Cuban officials were expelled from Somalia as a reaction to Cuban presence in Ethiopia. Castro reasserted Cuba’s determination to help black African liberation movements, reaffirmed support for Puerto Rican independence, and claimed that Cuba’s presence in Africa was non-negotiable with the United States. Granma article complained about Chinese attacks on the Cuban Revolution and Cuba’s internationalist commitments in Africa.
Cuba hosted the World Youth Festival. Cuban radio hailed the ratification of the Panama Canal treaties. Cuban troop strength in Ethiopia reported by the United States at 3,500 to 5,000. Abu Iyad, a close aide to Yasser Arafat stated that hundred of Palestinians had been sent to Cuba’s terrorist camps. The United States accused Cuba of supporting invading rebels in Zaire. Tomás Borge, leader of Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN), arrived in Cuba and met with party leaders. Castro attacked the foreign policies of the United States and China. One hundred fifty Cuban-American political prisoners allowed to leave Cuba. Central Planning Board President Humberto Pérez explained that Cuba had not reached a rate of economic growth allowing it to emerge from underdevelopment. Castro developed closer ties with and sent military advisers to Iraq.
Cuba supported Vietnam and condemned China’s “military aggression.” The Soviet Union commenced a buildup and modernization of the Cuban military by providing the Castro government with its first submarine and two torpedo boats. Cuba announced the release of several hundred political prisoners. Cuba’s America Department helped unify Sandinista factions fighting Somoza. Castro provided personnel and weapons to anti-Somoza groups in Nicaragua. National Assembly of People’s Power met in Havana. Castro called for higher discipline and working standards. He criticized public services, especially transportation. Cuba and Jamaica signed economic, scientific, and technical cooperation agreements and continued to maintain close relations. Cuban military, technical, and economic advisers arrived in Nicaragua following the overthrow of Somoza’s government. Close relations and collaboration developed between the two countries. Cuba’s Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of Peoples (MPSP) appealed for solidarity with the people of El Salvador in their struggles. Cuba’s America Department operated a weapons pipeline to the Farabundo Marti National Front (FMLN), a terrorist group attempting to gain power in El Salvador. The United States charged that a Soviet combat brigade was stationed in Cuba; Castro denied it. The Sixth Nonaligned Summit Meeting was held in Havana. Grenada admitted that it received arms from Cuba but only for defensive purposes. The two countries signed a two-year technical and economic cooperation agreement.
Castro shuffled Cuban cabinet, assumed personal control over Ministries of Defense, Interior, Public Health, and Culture. Ten thousand Cuban refugees entered the Peruvian Embassy in Havana seeking asylum and starting a mass exodus of Cubans to Peru and the United States. Cuba and Nicaragua signed an economic, scientific, and technical agreement and established a joint intergovernmental commission to set the standards of relations in those fields. Angolan President José Eduardo Dos Santos visited Cuba and signed an agreement establishing bilateral exchanges between Cuba and Angola. Cuban MIGs attacked and sunk the Bahamian patrol boat Flamingo. The Cuba government apologized, saying “it sincerely regretted the incident.” The M-19 guerrilla group that held diplomats hostage in the Dominican Republic’s embassy in Colombia for sixty-one days arrived in Cuba with eleven hostages. Hostages were released while the guerrillas remained in the island. Daniel Ortega, member of the Nicaraguan governing junta, and Grenadian prime minister Maurice Bishop addressed the May Day rally in Havana. Cuba and the USSR signed an agreement for the building of a nuclear research center in Cuba. Fidel Castro and a large delegation attended the firs-anniversary celebrations of the Sandinista victory in Nicaragua. Cuba and the USSR signed a bilateral economic-cooperation agreement for 1981-1985. Trade would increase by 50 percent and would average over U.S. $8 billion per year. Raul Castro announced the creation of territorial militias. President Carter accused Cuba of aiding the supply of arms and insurgents to leftist groups trying to overthrow the government of El Salvador. The Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) organized a drive of solidarity with Puerto Rico to help Puerto Rican people gain their full sovereignty and independence. During Mexican president José López Portillo’s visit to Cuba, the two countries signed a joint communiqué that included a call for ending the economic blockade against the Cuban people and the cessation of violations of Cuban air space. The Mexican president condemned the cold war and the arms buildup, noting that nothing could be achieved without détente. Addressing the Second Cuban Communist Party Congress, Fidel Castro admitted failing to reach the goal of 6 percent economic growth set by the First Congress during 1976-1980.
Eleven new “alternate” members of the Politburo were named. Five of them, Humberto Pérez, Vilma Espín, Roberto Viega, José Ramírez Cruz, and Armando Acosta would represent “mass organizations” in order to facilitate grassroots relations. The other six members were all army leaders. The government organized militias of territorial troops on a regional basis (Milicias de Tropas Territoriales-MTT). Many militiamen were veterans of Angola and Ethiopia. Militias would fight sabotage from exile groups. Foreign Minister Isidoro Malmierca flew to Guyana on official visit. Malmierca affirmed Guyana’s territorial integrity in dispute with Venezuela. Nominee for U.S. secretary of state Alexander Haig rejected notion of improved relations with Cuba during confirmation hearings.U.S. FBI arrested seven anti-Castro Cuba exiles in Florida Keys. Exiles were linked to Alpha 66. U.S. State Department failed to convince Castro to accept the return of 2,000 undesirables from 1980 Mariel boatlift. Trade agreements signed with Guyana included increased technical assistance. Government reported slight increase in rate of infant mortality from 1.93 percent in 1979 to 1.96 percent in 1980. The United States reported that $532 million had been spent on entry and resettlement of 125,000 Cuban and 12,400 Haitian refugees who emigrated to the United States in 1980. The United States expelled First Secretary of Cuban Interest Section, Ricardo Escortín, for illegal business deals with U.S. businessmen and for alleged intelligence activities. Group of Cubans seized Ecuadorian embassy in Havana, holding Ecuadorian envoys hostage, demanding political asylum. Valdilev M. Vasev, Minister Counselor of the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C., denied that the Soviet Union had supplied arms to Salvadorian rebels but said Soviets were shipping arms to Cuba without restrictions on their shipment to third countries. Cuban security forces entered Ecuadorean Embassy and arrested would-be Cuban emigrants. Castro gave speech to Soviet Communist Party Congress, stating that the United States threatened a blockade and denying that Cuba was instigating the Salvadorian rebellion. Castro met with Leonid Brezhnev. The Soviet leader assured Castro of Soviets’ continued support. Colombia broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba over Cuban links to Colombian guerrilla insurgency. Alpha 66 reported thirty sabotage missions accomplished in six months inside Cuba, including attack at Regla power plant. Castro reaffirmed solidarity with Soviet Union in a speech marking the twentieth anniversary of Bay of Pigs. Fidel Castro made overtures to Christian groups for revolutionary unity in country. U.S. assistant secretary of state Croker linked solution of Southwest African problem with withdrawal of Cuba troops from Angola. ANAP President Jose Ramirez launched campaign to aid small private farmers, especially those belonging to independent cooperatives, in new agricultural policy. Costa Rica broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba over human rights issues. Soviet four-ship naval squadron left Cuba after monthlong visit and maneuvers in the Caribbean. U.S. department of State reported Cuban transfer of Soviet-made T-55 tanks to Nicaraguan Sandinista government. Vice-President Raul Castro was awarded the USSR Order of the October Revolution. Aid pact with COMECON signed in Sophia. Plans made to improve sugar production by modernizing mills and transport system. Aid package worth about $1.2 billion over ten years. Cuba’s largest cement factory, christened Karl Marx Plant, completed after six years of construction. Manuel Urrutia Lleo, first president of Revolutionary Cuba, who later became a Castro foe, died in New York City at age 79. Castro voiced “profound suspicion” over the origin of crop blights and dengue fever that killed 113 Cubans and damaged harvests. He said the epidemics had possible been introduced by the CIA. Castro met with President López Portillo of Mexico on the Mexican island of Cozumel. Castro accepted that his presence at the Cancún North/South summit would jeopardize meetings in light of U.S. warnings to stay away. National Census put Cuban population at 9,706,369; Havana at 1,924,000. More than 97 percent of registered voters in Cuba voted in municipal elections to elect 9,763 members. Jamaica broke diplomatic relations with Cuba, citing lack of cooperation in the extradition of Jamaican criminals. Félix Fidel Castro Díaz, Fidel Castro’s only son, became director of Atomic Energy Commission. Mexican government offered to act as “communicator” between Castro regime and U.S. government. Fidel Castro was reelected President of the Council of State with his brother, Raúl Castro, as first vice-president. Other vice-presidents elected were Juan Almeida Bosque, Ramiro Valdés, Guillermo García, Carlos Rafael Rodríguez, and Blas Roca. Flavio Bravo replaced Roca as council chairman. Humberto Pérez announced 1981 budget deficit of 785 million pesos, compared to 249 million pesos in 1980. He blamed falling commodity prices and dengue fever for shortfalls. Government raised prices 10 to 30 percent on rationed goods and most catering services (restaurants, bars, etc.). Two ministers including Minister of Interior Trade Serafín Rodríguez, were ousted after public outcry swelled over excessive increases in some areas. Manuel Vila Sosa replaced Fernández as Internal Trade Minister.
Trade deal signed with Libya after visit by delegation headed by State Committee for Economic Cooperation President Héctor Rodríguez Llampart. Andrés Rodríguez Hernández, a stowaway aboard Miami jetliner, was first refugee to be deported to Cuba. President Ronald Reagan named F. Clifton White to lead Radio Marti, a U.S.
broadcasting initiative designed to counter anti-American broadcasts from
President Regan said that Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig met secretly with
Cuban vice-president Carlos Rafael Rodríguez in Mexico in the fall of 1980.
Haig discussed arms shipments from the Soviet Union to Cuba.
U.S. Justice Department lifted embargo on Cuban publications to U.S. subscribers
in effect since mid-1981.
Foreign Minister Isidoro Malmierca visited Angola; Deputy Foreign Minister
Oscar Oramas, General Abelardo Colomé and Politburo member Jorge Risquet
visited Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
Cuban government liberalized restrictions on foreign investment in Cuba in
efforts to revive tourist industry and gain foreign exchange.
Reagan Administration announced new restrictions on travel to Cuba, banning
tourist and business travel after May 15. Only academic and family-unification
exit visas would be granted.
Castro rejected Regan Administration’s appeal for breaking off relations with the
Soviet Union in a speech to Association of Small Farmers (ANAP).
ANAP President José Ramírez said that small, private farmers and cooperatives
produced 70 percent of country’s tobacco, 67 percent of cocoa, 54 percent of
coffee, 50 percent of vegetables, and 18 percent of sugarcane, and owned 21
percent of beef and dairy cattle stock. Castro admitted that “free market” food
policy of 1980 was a failure due to unscrupulous “middlemen.”
Vice-President Carlos Rafael Rodríguez visited France. Cuban government
cracked down on “capitalist activities” in free markets for food and clothing
and made 200 arrests.
Vice-President Carlos Rafael Rodríguez addressed UN General Assembly and
said Cuba had received “huge quantities of modern and sophisticated weapons”
from the Soviet Union and allies.
Torrential rains and flooding caused extensive damage to Cuban property and
Cuban government announced that 180,000 foreigners had visited Cuba in 1981,
bringing in $80 million.
The United States expelled two Cuban envoys at a Cuban mission to the UN after
finding sophisticated telecommunications equipment in an Orlando, Florida,
Former foreign minister Raul Roa died.
Fidel Castro, in Bayamo, in address during Moncada celebrations
commemorating the Cuban Revolution, blamed the capitalist crisis” for Cuba’s
economic woes. He asked Cuban people to work harder and endure and said
Cuban troops would not leave Angola until all South African troops were out of
Cuban officials met in Panama with economic ministers from several Western
nations to renegotiate payment on $2.6 billion in foreign debt.
The United States reported that Cuba – with Soviet backing- has expanded its
amphibious fleet. Cuba also completed building shelters for a fleet of about
225 Soviet-built MIG fighter bombers and plans to receive four more Foxtrot
submarines from the Soviet Union.
Former Cuban agent turned federal informer revealed, at U.S. Senate hearings,
that his work as a drug dealer for the Cuban government earned $7 million for
the Castro regime. The federal informer also estimated that 3,000 Cuban
agents entered the U.S. during the 1980 boatlift.
Cuba rejected charges that two diplomats in their UN delegation in New York
City were guilty of spying. The U.S. government ordered the Cuban diplomats
to leave the United States within forty-eight hours.
Cuban government charged that U.S. reconnaissance plane violated Cuban
airspace in a “deliberate and cold provocation.”
U.S. assistant secretary of state Thomas O. Enders met with the head of the Cuban
Interest Section in Washington, Ramón Sánchez-Parodi, to request that Cuba
take back thousands of Cubans (who came to the United States via the 1980
Mariel boatlift) because of their criminal conduct in Cuba.
U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted thirteen to four to authorize
Cuban vice-president Carlos Rafael Rodríguez claimed that Cuba was willing to
open “serious negotiations” on reestablishing normal relations with the United
Sates, provided that the Reagan Administration take the first step.
Castro provided funds for the Macheteros, a Puerto Rican terrorist group that
highjacked a Wells Fargo truck in Connecticut and stole $7.2 million.
Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado, former President of Cuba, committed suicide.
Cuba informed the United States that it was willing to discuss the return of some
of the Cubans who came to the United States illegally in 1980, but only as part
of overall negotiations on “normalizing of migration” between the two
President Reagan emphasized that the Soviet Union had repeatedly violated the
1962 agreement that ended the missile crisis by continuing to ship “offensive
weapons” into the American hemisphere.
America Watch, a human rights organization, claimed that at least 250 long-term
political prisoners were confined in Cuban jails under “brutal conditions” and
that up to 2,000 former prisoners were denied decent work.
The United States intervened in Grenada, overthrew the Coard communist regime,
and expelled all Cuban advisors.
The United States tightened its economic embargo against Cuba by banning
imports of semi-finished nickel products from the Soviet Union, which is a
major buyer of Cuban nickel ore.
Cuba reached a tentative agreement with its creditors to reschedule $810 million
in short-and medium-term commercial debt and nearly half of its $3.5 billion
debt owed to Western governments and banks.
President Reagan accused Cuban leaders of having betrayed the Cuban people
and not telling them the truth about Cuban activities around the world. Reagan
said there were as many as 10,000 political prisoners in Cuban jails. Reagan
also charged that Cuba’s economy failed to meet even elementary needs.
The United Sates immigration and Justice Department officials decided that
100,000 of the Cuban who came to the United State in the 1980 Mariel boatlift
were eligible for legal status and citizenship opportunities under the 1966 U.S.
law on earlier Cuban migration.
Fidel Castro visited Western Europe for the first time.
Castro made an unscheduled stop in Spain en route home from Yuri Andropov’s
funeral in Moscow.
Angolan guerrillas reported that Cuban-led Angolan forces opened a major
offensive against rebel strongholds along the southeast border.
South Arica labeled “unacceptable” Cuba’s heavily conditioned offer to withdraw
its 25,000 troops from Angola, dimming hopes for effort to negotiate
independence for Namibia.
Roberto Veiga Menéndez, an alternate member of the Cuban Communist party
politburo and secretary general of the Cuban Federation of Workers, said that
the Cuban government had doubled the size of its militia forces to more than
one million men and women.
Jorge Vals, a prominent Cuban poet and political dissident, was released after
being imprisoned for more than twenty years.
Several dozen Mexicans received training in terrorism and guerrilla warfare in
Sierra del Rosario, Pinar del Rio, in Western Cuba.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson arrived in Cuba for a two-day visit and inairport
meeting with Fidel Castro, said that the United States and Cuba “must give
peace a chance.” Castro said that he invited the Reverend Jackson as a “gesture
of friendship to the people of the United States.” The Reverend Jesse Jackson
returned to the United States with twenty-six freed American and Cuban
Cuban an U.S. officials started discussions in New York about immigration
issues, including the possible return of 1,000 Cuban refugees from the 1980
Supreme Court reinstated Reagan Administration’s curbs on tourist and business
travel to Cuba.
Western commercial banks reportedly agreed to reschedule about $100 million of
Cuba’s debts for this year on easier terms than those of 1983.
Foreign Minister Wu Xuequian said that China and Cuba agreed to improve trade,
cultural, and technological ties despite their differences on international
Fidel Castro, in speech marking thirty-first anniversary of the Cuban Revolution,
said he would welcome any steps to lessen bitter hostility between the United
States and Cuba.
State Department sees no change in Cuban policy reflected in Fidel Castro’s
speech; rules out comprehensive talks for now, demanding Cuba first make
fundamental foreign policy changes.
Fidel Castro ordered austerity measures expected to sharply slow the country’s
economic growth and possible cause more reliance on the Soviet Union. The
measures were aimed at saving badly needed foreign exchange.
Twenty-three Cuban 1980 Mariel refugees were returned to Havana. These were
the first of more than 2,700 unwanted Cubans who could be send back by the
United States as part of an agreement with Fidel Castro’s government.
The Reagan Administration claimed that Fidel Castro’s absence from Soviet
leader Konstantin Chernenko’s funeral was evidence of friction between Cuba
and the Soviet Union over economic aid. The Reagan Administration also
viewed the absence as one of Castro’s periodic urges to show his
independence from the Soviet Union.
Cuban leader Fidel Castro said Cuba’s relationship with the Soviet Union had
never been better and that his absence from the funeral of Konstantin
Chernenko was not significant.
Cuba offered to withdraw one hundred of its military advisers form Nicaragua but
vowed to return even more if the United States continued its “dirty war” against
Ecuadorean President León Febres Cordero arrived in Cuba for an official visit
and was welcomed by Fidel Castro. Talks centered on the Latin American debt
problem and unrest in Central America.
Radio Martí, the U.S. Information Agency news service for Cuba, began
broadcasts to Cuba.
Havana suspended all immigration proceedings between Cuba and the United
States in response to the start of Radio Martí. Cuban-Americans will be
prohibited from visiting Cuba.
Fidel Castro suggested the United States and other industrialized nations pay the
Latin American $4,360 billion debt.
The Cuban government sought to improve relations with churches and
synagogues and urged cooperation.
Cuban Central Planning Board head Humberto Pérez González was replaced by
Construction Minister José López Moreno in a continuing government shakeup
that is expected to lead to a more prominent role for Fidel Castro’s younger
Fidel Castro said Cuba was going nuclear. A four-unit nuclear plant was already
being built, and two more are planned.
Fidel Castro urged Latin American nations to bank together and simply refuse to
pay their foreign debt.
Castro refinanced Cuba’s $3.5 billion debt and promised to continue making
payment on loans.
U.S. and Cuba officials agreed that relations between the two countries had
reached one of the lowest points in years. A slight warming in the relationship
halted abruptly when the United States inaugurated Radio Martí’s broadcast
service to Cuba, which was denounced by Fidel Castro as a U.S. attempt at
Cuba signed a pact rescheduling $90 million owed to foreign commercial banks.
President Reagan imposed immediate restrictions on entry of Cuban officials into
the United Sates.
Soviet foreign minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze arrived in Cuba for talks with
About 20,000 protesters denounced the United States, outside the U.S. mission in
Havana, after Cuba protested what it called spy flights by U.S. surveillance
Four Cuban embassy employees in Madrid tried to kidnap former Cuban official
Manuel Antonio Sánchez Pérez, who had asked for political asylum. The
attempt was foiled by the intervention of thirty bystanders. Four employees,
including the vice consul, were arrested.
Cuba reportedly planned to reduce its outlays for military and public security in
1986, after failing to meet production goals for leading exports in 1985.
President Reagan warned that the United States had a legal right to defend itself
against five nations that he claimed were sponsoring terrorist “acts of war”
against America: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Cuba, and Nicaragua.
Fidel Castro opened the third congress of the Cuban Communist Party with a
harsh attack on bureaucracy and inefficiency and praised the economic growth
of 7.8 percent per year during the previous five years.
Cuba’s Communist party reshuffled its politburo and promoted women to full
membership for the first time.
Fidel Castro marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs victory
with an attack on President Reagan and pledged to fight laziness and corruption
in Cuban society.
In an effort to reschedule its $3.5billion foreign debt, Cuba began new talks with
its Western creditors.
The United States and Cuba greed to negotiate the revival of the 1984
immigration agreement that enabled the United States to deport several
thousand Cubans who had histories of crime or mental illness who had arrived
in the United States as part of the Mariel boatlift in 1980. Talks collapsed
when the United States refused to recognize Cuba’s right to broadcast over an
AM frequency in the United States to match Voice of America’s Radio Martí
President Reagan ordered measures designed to tighten the U.S. economic
embargo of Cuba and responded to Cuba’s decision to suspend immigration
agreement by making it more difficult for some Cubans to enter the United
Cuba allowed seventy political prisoners, many of whom had been in prison for
more than twenty years, to leave the country and fly to Miami. The U.S.
Immigration and Naturalization service reports that most prisoners had been
members of the Cuban armed forces under dictator Fulgencio Batista.
One hundred thousand Cubans rallied outside the former U.S. embassy in Havana
protesting what the Cuban government said was the overflight of a U.S.
espionage plane over Cuban territory. Millions of Cubans took part in military
exercise aimed at preparing the population to defend the island against a
surprise air attack.
The Third-Party Congress was held.
Fidel Castro halted two ventures into capitalism he instituted- farmers’ markets
and private home ownership – in the face of signs that some people were
accumulating wealth through them.
Antagonism between Cuba and the United States was greater than at any time in
the previous ten years.
Bitter conflict between the church and the state in Cuba eased considerably.
Rafael del Pino Díaz, deputy chief of staff of the Cuban Defense Ministry and
former chief of the Cuban air force defected to the United States; he had
knowledge of significant military and political information.
Cuba agreed to release 348 political prisoners following a request from the U.S.
The Cuban government charged that U.S. diplomats in Havana have been spying
and plotting to assassinate Fidel Castro.
The Cuban government, in a policy reversal, agreed to restore an immigration
pact with the United States by which l2,600 Cubans whose criminal records
make them ineligible for U.S. residence will be deported from the United States
and up to 20,000 Cubans will be allowed to emigrate to the United States each
Outraged at the prospect of being deported, Cuban inmates took over federal
detention centers in Oakdale, Louisiana, and Atlanta. After several days of
negotiations, the uprising ended, and hostages were released. A new process to
decide whether the inmates should be sent to Cuba was established.
Cuba’s economy shrank 3.5 percent in1987 after growing 7.2 percent per year
between 1981 and 1985.
Pat Robertson claimed that Soviet missiles were pointed at the United States from
Cuba; both the White House and Fidel Castro denied it.
United Nations Human Rights Commission unanimously agreed to accept an
unexpected invitation from Havana to investigate human rights in Cuba. Even
though UN specialists encounter harsh penal systems in Cuban prisons, they
found no evidence to support U.S. charges of torture and executions. The
official United Nations investigation concluded that abuses have declined.
Cuban National Bank documents obtained by a human rights group indicated that
the Soviet Union was reducing support for the Cuban economy.
U.S. officials said they expect between 12,000 and 15,000 Cubans to emigrate to
the United States by the end of the year in the first major exodus from the
island since 1980.
In an apparent effort to improve his international standing, Fidel Castro moved
toward reconciliation with Cuban Christians and the country’s small Jewish
In the first five months since the protest riots in two federal penitentiaries, the
U.S. government released 1,153 Cuban detainees from jail. Fidel Castro
indicated that Cuba will not emulate Mikhail Gorbachev’s plan for political and
economic reform in the Soviet Union.
Restrictions on importing and exporting books, films, phonograph records, and
other informational material to and from Cuba were eliminated by a trade bill
signed into law by President Reagan.
Radio Marti expanded its Family Bridge program, which enables listeners in the
United States to convey messages to relatives in Cuba.
Mikhail Gorbachev cut short a visit to the United States and canceled a trip to
Cuba to return to the Soviet Union after news of a devastating earthquake in
Fidel Castro played down his differences with the Soviet Union even as he
reaffirmed his refusal to adopt Mikhail Gorbachev’s program of economic
liberalization to remedy critical economic problems.
Cuban National Bank data showed Soviet Union cut its trade with Cuba by 12
percent in 1988’s first quarter; data, presented to Western government creditors
in June, showed Cuba’s output of goods and services fell 3.5 percent in 1987;
trade figures gave clear indication of USSR’s effort to trim its $5 billion-a-year
subsidy of the Cuban economy.
Leaders of Cuba’s two main human rights groups said there has been increased
pressure and new tactics government of Fidel Castro was using against
dissidents since United Nations team looked into abuses of human rights in
American Watch, a human rights organization based in New York, issued a report
saying Cuba has improved its prisons and permitted some dissident groups to
form, but it continues to commit serious violation of human rights.
A Soviet official revealed that Soviet nuclear warheads were deployed in Cuba
and could have been launched at American cities within hours during 1962
Cuban missile crisis.
The United Nationals issued a report on the human rights situation in Cuba;
suggested that while there had been big improvements in church-state relations
and treatment of political prisoners, basic political liberties were still widely
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev began visit to Cuba with effusive welcome from
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, in Havana, called for end to all outside military
aid to Latin American and signed friendship treaty condemning use of force as
instrument of foreign policy.
General Arnaldo T. Ochoa Sanchez of Cuba was arrested on corruption charges;
American officials said action suggests dissension at highest levels of Cuban
military. Cuba’s transportation minister, Diocles Torralba Gonzalez, a friend
of Ochoa’s, was earlier relived of his duties; Ochoa was accused of being
involved in illicit sales in Angola.
Cuban officials said senior Cuban military officers helped Medellin drug cartel of
Colombia smuggle six tons of cocaine and marijuana into United States over
past two and a half years.
General Arnaldo Ochoa Sanchez was shown on Cuba television making abject
confession to drug trafficking and corruption and saying, “I deserve to die.”
Cuba’s interior minister, General José Abrantes Fernández, was replaced as top
security officer following official charges that high military officers in Cuba
were involved in drug trafficking; Abrantes was not singled out as a key
defendant in government’s case.
Cuba announced that firing squad executed four Cuban army officers convicted
by court-martial of conspiring to ship tons of cocaine and marijuana to United
States; they include General Arnaldo T. Ochoa Sanchez, a highly decorated war
Fidel Castro portrayed Cuba as nation under siege by the United States at a speech
in Camagüey, marking the thirty-sixth anniversary of start of Cuban
Cuba’s former interior minister, Jose Abrantes Fernandez, and three other former
officials were charged with corruption.
Cuban Communist party banned circulation of Soviet Union journals Moscow
News and Sputnik, holding they promote bourgeois democracy and American
way of life.
Sudden changes in East Germany and the rest of Eastern Europe appeared to be
deepening political isolation of Fidel Castro and creating more problems for
ailing Cuban economy.
A Havana court sentenced three Cuban human rights advocates to prison after
convicting them of giving false information to foreign journalists.
Fidel Castro vowed that Cuba will not undergo the profound political and
economic changes now sweeping the rest of the Soviet bloc.
Cuba’s Communist party announced plans for reforms in the country’s political
system but made it clear that it will not abandon the one-party Communist rule.
The press in the Soviet Union painted an unflattering portrait of Cuba as an
impoverished police state still mimicking Brezhnev-era Communism.
In his first visit to Brazil in thirty years, Fidel Castro said that Cuba may turn
more to Latin American markets to make up for the loss of trade with the
Eastern European countries that disapprove of his policies.
Experts on Cuba believe that despite growing economic problems, Fidel Castro’s
popularity remained too high to allow the sort of political change overtaking
The Communist party newspaper claimed that Cuba has almost completely
succeeded in jamming broadcasts to the island by Radio Martí.
The Cuban government refused to negotiate the departure of Cubans seeking
refuge in foreign embassies in Havana straining relations between Cuba and its
most important Western economic partners, Canada and Spain; asylum seekers
surrendered in exchange for a promise that they will not be punished.
The government of Fidel Castro, anticipating the end of large-scale Soviet
economic subsidies, prepared the nation for a type of wartime austerity and
Cuba’s Communist partly moved to streamline its bloated bureaucracy, slashing
national and provincial partly posts by 50 percent.
In the first phase of a program that envisions thousands of urban dwellers working
for twenty-one-day shifts in the countryside to increase food production, the
Cuban government sent several hundred office workers to plant potatoes.
The Cuban government forged ahead with crash efforts to create world-class
industries in tourism and biotechnology.
The Soviet Union’s decision to cut aid to Cuba and work with the United States to
solve regional conflicts left Cuba as one of the last standard bearers in the
ideological war against what it perceives as U.S. imperialism.
The Castro regime announced a series of austerity measures – “Special Period.”
In a move seen as a sign of Havana’ growing isolation, Czechoslovakia decided it
will no longer represent Cuba in Washington. Switzerland, which sponsors
U.S. diplomats in Havana, offered to sponsor the Cuban Interest Section in
Washington to ensure that both countries have diplomatic representation in
each other’s capital.
The deteriorating economic situation in Cuba prompted a large increase in the
number of Cubans seeking to leave their country.
The Cuban government rejected an appeal by President Bush for political change
and accused him of being obsessively anti-Cuban.
With increased religious tolerance, Bibles were put on sale in Cuba for the first
time in three decades.
Fidel Castro received only token gestures of friendship for his beleaguered
government during a meeting with fellow Latin American leaders in
Cuba announced the lifting of restrictions on travel abroad; people aged twenty or
over will be allowed to leave and visit other countries, provided that the host
nation gives them visa.
Cuban inmates seized control of the medium-security section of a federal prison
in Talladega, Alabama, to avoid deportation; after ten days, federal assault
teams stormed the prison cellblock, freed several hostages, and took custody of
In order to remove a major obstacle to increase U.S. economic aid to the Soviet
Union, President Gorbachev declared he will remove Soviet troops from Cuba
an end the $2 billion-a-year trade subsidy Moscow gives Havana.
For the first time in the thirty-two-year leadership of Fidel Castro, Cuba banned
foreign delegations and journalists from the Congress of its ruling Communist
The Cuban Communist Party unveiled an economic plan meant to boost hard-
currency exports, tourism, and foreign investment.
The presidents of Mexico, Venezuela, and Colombia met with Fidel Castro in
Cozumel. Mexico urged him to quicken the pace of reform in his country, and
offered him prospect of closer relations in return.
The Castro government unleashed a violent crackdown on political dissent.
The Fourth Party Congress was held.
The Castro government stepped up efforts to crush internal opposition as growing
numbers of citizens took desperate measures to flee a life of hardship.
Eduardo Diaz Betancourt, a Cuban exile convicted of sabotage and terrorism, was
executed by a firing squad in Cuba.
In a rare exception to the economic blockade of Cuba, the Bush Administration
granted permission to AT&T to expand telephone services between Cuba and
the United States; Cuba rejected AT&T’s proposal.
A growing number of U.S. companies, lured by the prospect of approaching
change in Cuba as the island tries to ward off economic collapse, followed their
foreign counterparts in showing interest in the island.
Cuban officials said that the thirty-year U.S. economic embargo against Cuba has
cost the island more than $20 billion and was blocking Cuban efforts to
renegotiate a $7 billion debt to U.S. allies.
Havana began a sophisticated campaign to court U.S. businessmen in the hope
that their thirst for opportunities will bring them to lobby in Washington for a
change in U.S. relations with Cuba.
Americas Watch, a human rights organization, claimed that anti-Castro Cuban-
American leaders in Miami use violence and intimidation to quiet exiles who
favor the softening of U.S. policies toward Cuba.
Russia and Cuba agreed to the withdrawal of a former Soviet infantry brigade that
had been on the island since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.
Cuba halted monthly gasoline rations for private vehicles admitting that the
government lacks foreign currency to buy fuel.
Cuba and Russia signed trade accords for new ties based on mutual benefits; Cuba
would trade sugar for Russian oil at world market prices.
The United Nations Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for
an end to the thirty-year U.S. trade embargo against Cuba.
Cuban industry was reported to be all but paralyzed by shortages of oil,
electricity, and spare parts.
Fidel Castro said he was willing to negotiate his departure from power in
exchange for the lifting of the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba.
General Raúl Castro, Fidel’s brother, said Cuba is reducing its armed forces as a
result of not having received any weapons from the former Soviet Union since
Cuba offered to negotiate reparations for U.S. properties confiscated in the 1960s.
Challenging the hegemony of the Cuban American National Foundation and
other established groups, new voices calling for a more flexible attitude toward
Fidel Castro’s government emerged in Miami’s Cuban-exile community.
The last remaining members of a Soviet military brigade that was sent to Cuba
after the missile crisis of 1962 left the island.
Cuban officials said they would open their economy by permitting Cubans to hold
dollars and foreigners to open joint-venture banks on the island.
In a meeting in Salvador, Brazil, leaders of Latin America, Spain, and Portugal
called for an end to the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba.
Cuba took a step toward the establishment of a mixed economy authorizing
limited individual private enterprises in a wide range of trades, crafts, and
The Clinton Administration, in secret talks with Fidel Castro, agreed to hand over
to Havana some 1,500 Cuban inmates held in U.S. federal prisons, spreading
waves of alarm among Cuban exiles in Miami; Cuba denied such an agreement.
As Cuba’s economic and political crisis deepens, exiles in Miami reach out to
their kin on the island as never before by sending aid, exchanging visits, and
seeking their advice on how to ease Fidel Castro from power.
Of 900 Cuban athletes participating in the Central American and Caribbean
Games in Puerto Rico, thirty-nine defected and twenty-seven formally applied
for U.S. asylum
A granddaughter of Fidel Castro, sixteen-year-old Alina-Maria Salgado
Fernandez, was allowed to leave Cuba and be reunited with her mother, Alina
Fernandez Revuelta, who fled in December 1993.
Record number of Cuban refugees floated to Florida in 1993; the Coast Guard
reported that the total amount, 3,656, was up 43 percent from the 1992 total.
A federal appeals court ruled that Cubans from the 1980 Mariel boatlift cannot be
held indefinitely in federal prisons; Cuba sent off many prisoners and mental
patients. U.S. authorities later revoked freedom of those who committed new
Cuba announced a series of measures aimed at encouraging more Cuban-
Americans to visit and to attract foreign investment, hosted three-day
conference in Havana that is first sizable meeting between Communist
leadership and representatives of exile population in sixteen years.
Dozens of Cubans broke into Belgian ambassador’s residence in Havana,
demanding political asylum.
Brazil and Cuba agreed on a way for Cuba to start repaying part of nearly $40
million debt through export of Cuban medicine to Brazil.
Three Cuban gunboats trying to stop a freighter loaded with people trying to flee
Cuba fired on the vessel for more than four hours sinking it; thirty people were
Fidel Castro broke his thirty-five-year tradition of wearing military uniform in
public and wore civilian clothes at summit meeting in Cartagena, Colombia, of
Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese leaders; leaders, in an indirect slap at
U.S. embargo of Cuba, called for elimination of “unilateral coercive economic
and trade measures.” Clinton Administration, responding to Fidel Castro’s
threat to unleash a flood of refugees on the United States, warned it would not
permit a repeat of the 1980 Mariel boatlift, in which Cuba dropped emigration
curbs and 120,000 Cubans fled to the United States.
Clinton Administration ended open-door policy toward Cuban refugees, who will
be detained for an indefinite period after they arrive in United States, effective
The United States stopped refugees aboard rafts and boats off Florida coast and
began detaining them at its Guantanamo Bay base, as President Clinton ended
long-standing policy of welcoming fleeing Cubans.
President Clinton barred Americans from sending cash to Cuba and cut off flights
to the island to intensify pressure on Castro regime and punish it for
encouraging Cubans to set out in boats.
The United States moved to beef up patrol vessels in Florida straits as hundreds of
Cubans set sail despite the Clinton Administration’s efforts to stem exodus.
Clinton Administration, alarmed that its new policy failed to stem flow of Cuban
refugees, considered expanding capacity of Guantanamo Bay naval base to
Secretary of State Warren Christopher said the administration would react
positively if Fidel Castro took meaningful steps, such as allowing free
elections; denies administration’s policies are driven by domestic politics.
Once quiet U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay was crowded with thousands of
Cubans and Haitian refugees, all uncomfortable and angry over failure to make
it to the United States.
Cuba and the United States reached an agreement under which Cuba pledged to
stop citizens from fleeing in small boats and the United States promised to
accept at least 20,000 Cuba immigrants a year.
The flood of Cuban refugees ended as Cuban government implemented terms of
agreement reached with the United States aimed at halting exodus.
Cuba took a step away from highly centralized Communist system that has
defined its economy for more than three decades; it would for the first time
allow all farmers to sell part of their produce on open market.
The Clinton Administration gave American telecommunications companies
permission to establish direct telephone links with Cuba.
In an interview, Fidel Castro, who celebrated his thirty-sixth anniversary in
power, admitted he has real reservations about the market-oriented reforms his
government has undertaken to save the economy devastated by collapse of
Soviet bloc but said he recognized that the world economy has changed.
Appointment of Jaime Cardinal Ortega y Alamino as Cuba’s first Roman Catholic
prelate in more than thirty years, and the passionate reaction of his flock, are
seen as new sings of reinvigoration of the Catholic Church in Cuba.
President Francois Mitterrand welcomed Fidel Castro to France for a three-day
private stay that has hallmarks of a state visit.
Cuban officials and athletes at Pan American Games admit for the first time that
nation’s worsening economic crisis and political isolation severely erode sports
The Clinton Administration ended thirty-five years of special treatment for Cuban
refugees and started returning them to homeland after admitting final group of
about 20,000 held at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station.
The Clinton Administration, which was signaling new cooperation with Cuba,
opposed Republican bill to tighten thirty-three-year old U.S. trade embargo.
The Cuban government, in an effort to make Cuba’s sagging economy more
efficient, abandoned one of most cherished concepts of Communist state-
guarantee of full lifetime employment- and began layoffs.
Role and responsibilities of Cuban armed forces expanded rapidly while those of
the Communist partly sharply declined. The military, traditionally one of Fidel
Castro’s principal pillars of support, produced and distributed between a
quarter and a third of country’s food supply and set up highly profitable
tourism, construction, and retailing companies of its own, and officers were put
in charge of many state enterprises.
U.S. officials report Cuba has arrested fugitive financier Rober L. Vesco and
approached the United States about extraditing him; Vesco fled the United
States in 1973 to avoid prosecution for allegedly swindling mutual fund
investors out of $224 million.
Latin America increasingly ignored U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, choosing to
develop full economic and diplomatic ties.
Cuba passed a new foreign-investment law, which allows foreign investors access
to all economic sectors, except defense, health care, and education, and to fully
own businesses in Cuba.
U.S. House voted 294 to 130 to tighten trade embargo against Cuba, despite
Clinton Administration’s veto threat.
President Clinton signed executive order to ease restrictions on travel to Cuba by
Cuban-Americans, academics, artists, and clergymen.
Fidel Castro addressed UN General Assembly as part of the world body’s fiftieth-
anniversary celebration, revisited Harlem for the first time in thirty-five years.
The Cuban government permitted citizens to buy and sell foreign currencies on
open market for the first time in more than thirty years in an attempt to
challenge flourishing black market for American dollars and to soak up surplus
pesos that have fueled inflation.
Fidel Castro visited China, whose leaders welcomed him warmly and pledged a
small increase in economic aid.
The Cuban government restored the personal income tax in an effort to go after
newly affluent Cubans who earn money in dollars and other foreign currencies.
Canadian foreign minister Lloyd Axworthy briefly visited Cuba to sign human
rights statement and foreign-investment declaration and met with Fidel Castro
The Clinton Administration’s annual report on human rights in 193 countries
concluded that despite U.S. efforts, human rights performance worsened last
year in China, Nigeria, Cuba, and Myanmar.
The United States closed tent city on Guantanamo naval base, allowing remaining
refugees to enter the United States.
The collation of Cuban dissidents and human rights groups Concilio Cubano
canceled plans to hold conference in Havana, citing crackdown by state
security apparatus against organizers of event.
Two small unarmed aircrafts belonging to Brother to the Rescue, a Miami-based
Cuban-exile group, were shot down by Cuban air force MIG jet fighters over
international waters, killing four.
President Clinton denounced Cuba’s downing of two private American planes as
flagrant violation of international law, suspended air charter travel between
countries, and pledged to reach an agreement with Congress on a pending bill
to tighten economic sanctions.
President Clinton agreed to a package of sanctions, the Helms-Burton Act, to
punish Fidel Castro by curbing foreign investment in Cuba.
The Communist Party of Cuba called for crackdown on dissent and on economic
U.S. Senate approved legislation, 74-22, to tighten embargo on American trade
with Cuba and punish other countries that insist on continuing such trade;
Canada, Russia, and the European Union condemned the measure.
The Organization of American States, at its annual meeting in Panama, approved
a resolution criticizing U.S. extension of economic embargo of Cuba as a
probable violation of international law.
Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, visiting Canada, and Canadian prime minister
Jean Chretien criticized U.S. effort to penalize foreign firms that trade with
UN investigation concluded that Cuba’s downing in February of two light civilian
aircrafts flown by Cuban-Americans occurred over international waters.
Leader of fifteen European Union countries criticized U.S. legislation that would
impose economic penalties on foreign companies that invest in Cuba, Iran, and
The Clinton Administration stroke for first time against foreign companies doing
business in Cuba, informing top executives and biggest shareholders of
Canada’s Sherrit International Corp. that they and their families will be barred
from the United States.
Fugitive U.S. financier Robert L. Vesco, who had been in Cuba for several years,
was tried and sentenced to thirteen years in jail.
President Clinton granted Americans the right to sue foreign companies using
American plants seized by Cuba more than thirty-five years ago but
immediately suspended filing of suits for six months.
The Clinton Administration, unable to gain international support for strong action
against Cuba over the downing in February of two civilian planes flown by
Cuban-Americans, got United Nations Security Council backing for only a
mild resolution of regret over the incident.
Cuba expelled American diplomat Robin Meyer for activities incompatible with
Cuba rejected part of planeload of food aid for Hurricane Lili victims sent by
Cuban-Americans because some of the packages carry “counter-revolutionary”
Fidel Castro attended annual Ibero-American Summit Conference in Santiago,
Chile. Latin leaders end summit denouncing moves by U.S. to isolate Cuba,
while pressing Fidel Castro to make democratic changes on the island.
John Paul II met with Fidel Castro for first time at the Vatican and accepted an
invitation to visit Cuba in 1997.
The European Union urged Cuba to improve its policies on human rights and
political freedoms, clearing the way for President Clinton to once again waive
the most controversial part of new law intended to punish foreign companies
that use confiscated American property in Cuba.
Cuba countered Helms-Burton Act, which toughened U.S. economic embargo on
the country, by declaring invalid any claim made under the law and saying
Americans seeking to make claims will be excluded from any possible
settlement of the property issue by Cuba.
President Clinton announced a suspension in the implementation of Title III of
the Helms Burton Act.
Canada’s foreign minister, Lloyd Axworthy, on an official visit to Cuba, signed
with his Cuban counterpart, Roberto Robaina, a joint declaration establishing
fourteen areas of bilateral cooperation, including human rights, as part of
Canada’s policy of constructive engagement toward Cuba.
President Clinton made public his plan for a Cuba without Castro. Called
“Support for a Democratic Transition in Cuba,” it included a special appeal to
the Cuban armed forces and an aid package of $4 to $8 billion.
The White House approved licenses for ten press organizations interested in
establishing bureaus in Havana. The Cuban government approved only CNN.
In an official visit to Cuba, Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori signed an
agreement of cooperation between the two countries. The Cuban government
stated its willingness to mediate the hostage crisis and receive the MRTA group
if Peru and Japan should ask it to do so.
The Italian group STET doubled its investments in Cuba when taking over Grupo
Demo’s telephone investment, while compensating AT&T to avoid Helms-
Human Rights Watch, Rapporteurs Sans Frontiers, and the Interamerican Press
Association denounced persistent harassment against independent press in
Foreign affairs ministers from the Non-Aligned Movement reiterated their
demand to the Untied State to put an end to the embargo against Cuba.
ETA, a Spanish terrorist organization seeking a separate Basque homeland,
established its Cuartel General (General Headquarters) in Havana.
Roberto Robaina’s tour throughout Southeast Asia is reported as being very
successful in terms of diplomatic recognition and cooperation agreements with
Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei.
The President of the Spanish government, Jose M. Aznar, declared that Spain is
against the Helms-Burrton Act and advocated for a peaceful and democratic
transition in Cuba.
Fidel Castro admitted publicly that the sugar harvest would not achieve its goal of
4.4 million tons. Instead it will be 4.2 million tons.
Percival Patterson, Jamaica’s prime minister, paid an official visit to Cuba as part
of an increased relationship between CARICOM countries in Cuba.
Bombs exploded in several hotels in Havana.
The United States made a public statement advising countries not to become
involved in supporting the electro-nuclear project in Cuba (Juragua).
Decree 172 created the Banco Central de Cuba (Cuba’s Central Bank).
The president of the Basque government paid an official visit to Cuba and met
with Fidel Castro.
The Dominican Republic ad Cuba restored consular relations.
Some dissident leaders challenged the official platform of the Fifth Congress of
the Communist partly of Cuba and made public their own platform,” La Patria
es de Todos.”
The first public Mass since 1959 was held in Havana.
Four dissident leaders, the authors of “La Patria es de Todos,” were arrested in
Havana. They are Vladimiro Roca, Social Democrat Party; Felix Bonne
Carcases, Cuban Civic Current; Raul Gomez Manzano, Independent Lawyers
Agramonte’s Current; and Marta Beatriz Roque, Independent Economists.
A new round of negotiations on immigration was held between the United States
Cuba celebrated the fourteenth World Your and Students Festival with some 15,000
Cuba and Honduras agreed to establish interests sections as part of the
normalization of bilateral relations.
The tourist industry was officially acknowledged as Cuba’s number one industry.
Ministry of Interior announced the capture of a Salvadorian citizen responsible for
the bombings and blamed the Cuban-American National Foundation.
The Fifth Party Congress took place in Havana. The Central Committee was
reduced from 225 to 150 members; the Politburo from 26 to 24. Raúl Castro
was ratified as successor to Fidel Castro.
Communists from Latin America met in Havana to plan a return to power “when
Division General Alvaro Lopez Miera, fifty-three, was appointed new chief of the
general staff, replacing General Ulises Rosales del Toro, who became minister
of the sugar industry.
United Nations General Assembly voted against the U.S. embargo on Cuba by
143 votes against, 17 abstentions, and only 3 in favor, the largest majority ever
Fidel Castro received criticism and some support in Margarita’s Ibero-American
President Clinton declared that “an improvement of relations between his country
and Cuba depends on the political changes that may be set in motion by the
government of Fidel Castro.”
Raúl Castro paid an official visit to China that lasted two weeks, stopping briefly
in Italy on his return to Cuba.
German foreign affairs minister Helmut Schafter concluded a four-day official
visit to Cuba with a meeting with Fidel Castro; both parties emphasized the
need to further enhance bilateral relations.
Jorge Mas Canosa, chairman of the Cuban-American National Foundation, passed
The United States and Cuba held a new round of negotiations on immigration in
The Russian chief of the general staff, Anatoly Kvashnin, paid an official visit to
Cuba with the purpose of signing agreements on bilateral cooperation, on the
Lourdes station, and on Russian military supplies and spare parts, to help Cuba
to maintain the combat readiness of its armed forces.
The official program for the Pope’s visit in January 1998 was announced in
Havana, including a Holy Mass at José Martí Revolution Square. Castro
allowed Christmas celebrations for the first time.
Pope John Paul II visited Cuba.
President Clinton eased restrictions on travel to Cuba and on the export of
Raúl Castro assumed a greater role in the management and control of Cuban
Fidel Castro visited Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, and South Africa.
The United Nations World Food Program made an emergency food-aid appeal to
help drought-stricken eastern Cuba, but the drought was ended by Hurricane
The European Union dropped its legal challenge to the Helms-Burton Act.
The four members of the Internal Dissidence Working Group were threatened
with five to six years’ imprisonment despite appeals from the Vatican and
The United Nations Human Rights Commission, in a vote of 19-16, rejected a
U.S.-led effort to censure Cuba’s human right abuses.
Cuba admitted to the Asociación Latinoamericana de Integración (ALADI).
Alina Fernandez discussed her disenchantment with her father, Fidel Castro, both
as a father and as Cuba’s leader, which was the subject of her new book,
Castro’s Daughter: An Exile Memoir of Cuba.
The death penalty was extended to armed robbery, attacks on the police,
corruption of minors, and some drug offenses. Cuba also introduced the
harshest penalties ever for engaging in political activities.
Vladimiro Roca, Felix Bonne, Rene Gomez Manzano, and Marta Beatriz Roque
were sentenced to three to five years in prison for publicly criticizing Cuba’s
system of government.
Sugar harvest of 3.6 million tons was just enough to stave off default on Cuba’s
Cuba adopted the Euro as its official currency for trading with Europe.
Smith Kline Beachman signed an agreement with Cuba to distribute meningitis B
vaccine on the world market.
Cuba came in second (after the United States) in the Pan American Games after
its four gold-medal winners were disqualified for drug use following urine
The Cuban government sold the right to make deep-water searches for galleon
wrecks to Canadian Visa Gold Exploration.
Spain protested the U.S. threat of sanctions against the Sol Melia hotel chain for
occupying American-owned land in Varadero.
Castro replaced his ministers of foreign relations, labor, and tourism.
Former U.S. Defense Department counter-terrorism expert John More told UPI
that Cubans, militant Palestinians, Hezbollah, and even advisers from
Venezuela are all active in Colombia.
The ninth Ibero-American Conference was held in Havana. Castro was criticized
for human rights abuses and political repression.
An asylum dispute over Elian Gonzalez, a six-year-old refugee picked up at sea
near Florida after his mother perished in a Cuba-to-Mimi voyage, caused major
strains in U.S.-Cuban relations.
Niall Connelly, an Irish Republican Army (IRA) representative, was living in
Cuba and representing the IRA for Latin America.
The first major trial of a Cuban dissident in over a year ended with the sentencing
of Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet to three years in prison- for hanging the nation’s flag
The United State deported Cuban diplomat Jose Imperatori on espionage charges.
Jose Imperatori, the Cuban diplomat expelled from the United States, left Canada
after overstaying his Canadian transit visa by almost three days. In a negotiated
departure, Imperatori left the Cuban embassy in Ottawa and then boarded
Cubana Airliner jet sent to take him to Havana.
Scorers of leaders from Africa, Asia, and Latin America gathered in Havana for
one the largest Third World meetings ever held, intended to set a new, united
agenda for narrowing global wealth inequalities. More than sixty-five heads of
state from the 133-member nations of the Group of 77 attend the five-day
meeting led by Fidel Castro.
Castro told leaders of the word’s poorer nations meeting in Havana that the
capitalist system had caused suffering comparable to that of the Holocaust.
Angry over European criticism of its human rights record, Cuba canceled the
planned visit to Havana by senior European Union officials. A delegation lead
by the Portuguese cooperation minister, Luis Amado, had intended to have
talks on issues including trade and human rights.
The government freed Rene Gomez Manzano, a dissident lawyer, from prison in
the third early release of a prominent anti-government activist. The early
release of Gomez, fifty-six, who was serving a four-year sentence for anti-
government activities, followed the freeing over the previous two weeks of two
of his close dissident colleagues, Felix Bonne, sixty, an academic, and Marta
Beatriz Roque, fifty-five, an economist.
House Republican leaders agreed to end four decades of sanctions on sales of
food to Cuba, but Cuban-American lawmakers managed to place severe
restrictions on the bill. American farmers and agricultural businesses could sell
directly to Cuba, but the federal government and American bankers could not
provide any financing to the Castro regime.
Elian González returned to Cuba with his father and other family members aboard
chartered jet hours after the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal brought
by Miami relatives who wanted an asylum hearing for the boy.
The State Department accused Cuba of causing widespread suffering by refusing
to let Cubans leave the island even if they held United States visas. Separately,
officials said, the United States told Ricardo Alarcon, the president of the
Cuban National Assembly, that he cannot attend a meeting of international
lawmakers at the United Nations in New York.
Ending a two-month suspension, Cuba agreed to resume talks on legal migration
of Cubans to the United States under accords signed in 1994 and’95. The
agreements grant visas to 20,000 Cubans a year.
The Chicago Tribune and the Dallas Morning News learned that they would be
allowed to open offices in Havana, joining the Associated Press and CNN as
the only United States news organizations with bureaus in the country.
Fidel Castro, on a visit to the United Nations, denounced the American economic
embargo against his country and presented a bleak vision of the world’s future
before thousands of cheering and flag-waving supporters gathered at Riverside
Church in Manhattan.
Testifying in Washington before the International Trade Comission, Cuba’s top
diplomat in the United States, Fernando Ramirez de Estenoz, called for an end
to all sanctions on Havana rather than the smaller step now being debated in
Congress for limited sales of American food and medicine. The rare
appearance by a Cuban official before a federal agency was protested by two
Florida lawmakers. The ITC concluded that Castro’s policies, not the embargo,
are the main cause of Cuba’s economic problems.
Reacting to the United States decision to give asylum to nine Cuban defectors,
Castro and thousands of protesters converged on a Havana plaza in front of the
American diplomatic offices. The nine fled in a small plane that crashed into
Pedro Riera Escalante, a longtime Cuban intelligence official who had broken
with his government and sought refuge in Mexico, was arrested and deported to
After years of deadlock, creditor nations in the so-called Paris Club were willing
to try to reschedule the estimated $3.5 billion debt Cuba has with them. Cuba’s
total hard-currency foreign debt at the end of 1999 was just over $11 billion.
The Senate approved a bill easing nearly four decades of sanctions on the sale of
food to Cuba, all but assuring the measure would become law. While the vote
was viewed as a victory for farming groups, the legislation was not expected to
lead to large sales of food products to Cuban any time soon.
Havana retaliating against a bill in the United State Congress that makes use of
Cuban money frozen in the United States, levied a 10 percent tax of the cost of
telephone calls between Cuba and the United Sates.
Fidel Castro began his first official visit to Venezuela in four decades. He and
President Hugo Chavez, an ally and friend, signed an agreement to let Cuba
import oil from Venezuela at a discount and with long-term credits.
For the ninth year, the United Nations General Assembly called by a wide margin
for the lifting of the United Sates embargo on Cuba. The vote was 167 to 3,
with 4 abstentions. Only Israel and the Marshall Islands voted with the United
States. El Salvador, Latvia, Morocco, and Nicaragua abstained.
Cuba and Venezuela sought the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban exile
who Fidel Castro said planned to kill him during the Ibero-American summit
meeting in Panama City.
Castro refused to join the other Ibero-Aemrican heads of state in condemning
ETA terrorism at the 2000 meeting in Panama.
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, on a visit to the island, and Fidel Castro pledged to reinvent their countries’ relationship, which foundered after the Soviet Union’s demise. It would be based on a modest agenda of trade and commerce and a bit of ideological alignment.
Russia and Cuba agreed to abandon an incomplete nuclear-power plant at Juragua on the southern cost of Cuba.
During the trails of several Cuban spies in Miami, one of the accused, Alejandro Alonso, revealed on December 30 that he was instructed by Cuba’s intelligence officers to locate areas in South Florida “where we can drop people as well as things, including arms and explosives.”
President Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic called for the immediate release of
two prominent Czechs being held in Cuba for meeting dissidents opposed to
Fidel Castro. Cuba said former finance minister Ivan Pilip and a former student
leader, Jan Bubenik, would be tried for plotting on behalf of American
interests. Having been held for more than three weeks, the Czechs were
released after they admitted breaking Cuban law, signing an admission drawn
up before diplomats from several nations.
The U.S. Treasury Department authorized the release of $96.7 million in frozen
Cuban funds to families of three Miami-based pilots shot down by Cuban
fighter jets in1996.
Fidel Castro met in Havana for the first time with veterans of the Bay of Pigs, at a
three-day conference organized by American historians, scholars, and open-
government advocates who uncovered secret archives of American, Cuban and
The Argentine government withdrew its ambassador to Cuba to protest comments
by Fidel Castro that characterized President Fernando de la Rua’s government
as “bootlickers of the Yankees.”z
Fidel Castro made his first visit to Iran and was welcomed in grand style with a
guard of honor at the former imperial palace. Discussions were expected to
focus on bilateral cooperation and new ways to improve the effectiveness of the
G-77 group of developing nations, which is currently headed by Iran.
Senators Jesse Helms and Jose I. Lieberman offered a bill to send $100 million in
aid to government opponents in Cuba for over four hears.
Five Cubans were convicted on conspiring to spy on the United States for Cuba;
Gerardo Hernandez, the group’s leader, was found guilty of contributing to the
deaths of four members of Brother to the Rescue, a Cuban exile group, whose
plane was downed by Cuban jets in international airspace in 1996. Other
convicted were Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, and
Rene Gonzalez; five other indicted members of the group pleaded guilty and
four others are fugitives.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted, 240 to 186, for a measure that would
effectively lift the ban on most travel to Cuba; the vote reflected growing
sentiment in Congress that many sanctions on Castro’s government have
outlived their usefulness. Members of the House Republican leadership who
oppose lifting the sanctions are expected to intervene and make certain that the
measure dies this year, as they did with a similar measure last year.
Smugglers dropped 55 Cubans in the Florida Keys, bringing to 107 the number of
such immigrants who arrived there over three days.
The U.S. government arrested and charged Ana Belen Montes, the Pentagon’s top
intelligence analyst for Cuba, with spying for the Cuban government; she had
provided Havana with highly classified information, including American
assessments of Cuban military readiness.
Russian president Vladimir V. Putin said Russia will abandon its largest
electronic eavesdropping post in the West, at Lourdes, Cuba, and spend much
of the savings on modern weapons for its armed forces.
Havana is negotiating a deal with American producers to buy food and
agricultural products to replenish stocks destroyed by a recent hurricane; this
would be the first such transaction in four decades, since the United States
imposed trade sanctions against Cuba. The small value of the purchases
suggested that Cuba might be using the catastrophe to cut into the American
embargo rather than seek actual relief.
Four American companies became the first in four decades to sign trade deals
with Cuba; Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Riceland Foods, and ConAgra
will supply food to help the recovery from Hurricane Michelle.
The widow and four children of Howard F. Anderson, an American businessman
executed in Cuba more than forty years ago on charges of conspiring against
Castro’s revolutionary government, filed a wrongful death suit against the
The leader of a Cuban spy ring was sentenced to life without parole for
conspiracy to commit espionage and conspiracy to commit murder. Gerardo
Hernández was convicted of trying to obtain U.S. military secrets by seeking to
infiltrate military bases at Boca Chica Naval Base and U.S. Southern Command
and for his involvement in the 1996 downing of two American civilian aircrafts
by Cuban MiGs over international waters.
The first shipment of American goods to be purchased by the Cuban government
since the trade embargo was imposed arrived in the Havana harbor. The
purchase was made possible by legislation passed in Congress that exempted
food and medicine from the trade embargo.
Prisoners taken during U.S. actions in Afghanistan were sent to Guantanamo.
Lourdes, Soviet era electronic base in Cuba, was closed down by the Russians.
U.N. Human Rights Commission criticized Cuba’s repeated record.
Uruguay broke relations with Cuba
U.S. Under Secretary of State, John Bolton accused Cuba of trying to develop
biological weapons, adding the country to Washington’s list of “axes of evil”
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter made a good will visit to Cuba.
Cuba’s National Assembly amended the constitution to make Socialist system of
government permanent and untouchable.
The Cuban government arrested 78 writers and dissidents on a crackdown known
as “Black Spring”.
U.S. halts high level officials’ visits to Cuba to protest the country human rights
Three men who hijacked a boat to try to reach the U.S. were executed.
The George W. Bush administration announced new restrictions on U.S. travel
to Cuba, including reduced Cuban-American family visits and remittances. The Cuban government bans transactions in U.S. dollars and imposed a 10
percent tax on dollar-peso conversion.
Dissidents hold large public meeting
Hurricane Dennis caused widespread destruction in Cuba leaving 16 people dead
Havana renewed diplomatic contacts with the European Union.
Fidel Castro underwent emergency intestinal surgery and temporary handed over
power to his brother Raul.
First time since 1959 the Revolution Day (July 26) was celebrated without Castro
Fidel Castro resigns as President of Cuba.
Cuba’s National Assembly selects Raul Castro as president.
The government lifted band on private phones and computers.
Plans were announced to address salary equality.
European Union lifted sanctions imposed on Cuba since the 2003 crackdown on
dissidents and restored ties.
Hurricane Gustav and Ike inflicted worst storm damage in Cuba’s recorded
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Cuba. Two countries concluded
trade and economic accords.
Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the island and signed trade accords including
agreements to buy Cuban nickel and sugar.
Russian naval warship visited Havana.
Cuban government claimed 2008 the most difficult economic year since the end
of the cold war.
Two high ranking government officials, Cabinet Secretary Carlos Lage and
Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque dismissed from their posts.
U.S. congress voted to lift Bush administration restrictions on Cuban Americans
visiting Cuba and sending money.
President Barack Obama lifted U.S. government restrictions on family travel and
remittances to Cuba.
U.S.A.I.D. sub-contractor Alan Gross was arrested in Cuba, accused of crimes
against the State.
Cuba signed agreement with Russia allowing oil exploration in Cuban waters.
Political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo died after 85 days on a hunger strike.
General Raul Castro agreed to free 52 political prisoners under a deal brokered by
Spain and the Catholic Church
The Obama administration reinstated permits for U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba
for cultural and educational exchange.
Cuban government passed law allowing individuals to buy and sell private
Authorities released 2,500 prisoners, including political prisoners, as part of an
amnesty ahead of the Papal visit.
Pope Benedict visited Cuba criticizing the U.S. embargo and calling for greater
respect for human rights in the island.
Cuba imposed certain duties on all food imports.
Spanish politician Angel Carromero was arrested in Havana over the death of
prominent Catholic dissident Oswaldo Paya. Carromero was driving a car
which according to Cuban police crashed into a tree. Paya’s family claimed
that the car was rammed by another vehicle killing Paya and another passenger.
The government abolished the requirement for Cuban citizens to buy expensive
exit permits to travel abroad. Professionals, doctors engineer and scientist still
will require government permission to travel.
Eastern province of Santiago was hard hit by hurricane Sandy with 11 people
dead and 188,000 homes destroyed.
The Cuban government enacted a series of immigration and travel reforms,
eliminating the requirement of a letter from invitation from abroad, extending
the maximum period of residence for Cuban citizens abroad to two years and
issuing passports to dissidents to travel to the U.S. and elsewhere.
Five prominent veteran politicians including former Parliament leader, Ricardo
Alarcon were removed from the Communist Party.
The Cuban government released Alan Gross.
Three Cubans convicted as spies in the U.S. were exchanged for a U.S.
intelligence officer imprisoned in the island.
President Obama announced major changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba including
steps toward reestablishing diplomatic relations, reviewing Cuba’s designation
as a state sponsor of terrorism and facilitating certain types of trade and travel
by U.S. citizens to Cuba.
President Vladimir Putin visited Cuba and offered to cancel billions in Cuban
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Cuba and signed bilateral economic
U.S. President Barack Obama and General Raul Castro announced moves to
President Obama removed Cuba from the State Department list of state sponsors
of terrorism and Cuba established banking ties.
The U. S. and Cuba restored diplomatic relations and open embassies in Havana
and Washington, D.C.
President Obama is the first sitting U.S. president since 1928 to visit Cuba.
The first commercial flights between the U.S. and Cuba since 1962 are reinstated.
Raul Castro announced the death of his brother Fidel Castro.
U.S. eased a number of trade restrictions with Cuba.
Cuba and the European Union agreed to normalize relations.
Cuba legalized small businesses as part of economic reforms.
President Obama announced the end of the “wet foot/dry foot policy.”
President Donald Trump proclaimed changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba,
including prohibiting U.S. business transactions with Cuban state enterprises
linked with the military and eliminating individual people to people travel to
Washington ended long standing policy which grants Cuban immigrants the right
to remain in the U.S. without a visa.
Following some attacks against personnel assigned to the U.S. embassy in
Havana, the State Department ordered the departure of non-emergency
personnel from its embassy and expelled fifteen officials from the Cuban
embassy in D.C.