• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

What’s Going on in Cuba?

As late as last year, Bush administration officials were saying that the U.S. had no idea what was going on in Cuba, asserting that it was an "opaque" society.

Still, the U.S. has the equivalent of an embassy in Havana, and contacts with all of the dissidents publicized abroad, as well as the benefit of electronic intercepts, satellite imagery and other intelligence. Most Western news agencies maintain correspondents in Havana and publish regular reports as well as interviews with the man or woman on the street. Cuba now has a number of Web sites that reflect official views and current events, including criticisms of the government. It is not impossible to form an idea of the conditions and trends in Cuba today, as well as of external circumstances.

Some background:

The implosion of the USSR in 1991 meant for Cuba a cessation of oil imports and the loss of a preferred market. The economy nosedived, with GDP dropping 35% almost overnight. By 1994, and in part as a result of the 1992 Cuban Democracy Act (the "Torricelli law"), the situation for Cubans was desperate.

As the economy began to recover in the following year, two things happened at about the same time: Congress passed the 1996 Helms-Burton law, further tightening the screws on the Cuban economy, and Cuba saw the start of a record drought that would last for ten years, ending only with the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005.

The Special Period, and the drought, dragged on. In 2004, the electrical grid collapsed due to the lack of maintenance and of spare parts. Life became very difficult once again, especially as the Bush rules of that year cut off many family contacts and limited the remaining ones. Already, however, Hugo Chavez had been elected president in Venezuela, and Cuba could again count on a regular supply of oil.

By 2006 the electrical grid had been reconstituted. The drought ended and reservoirs were full again. The economy was growing, more than in most countries of Latin America. Popular expectations cautiously rose.

Things had changed in the world, too, and continued to change. Having formed strategic alliances with China as well as Venezuela, Cuba began to import Chinese locomotives, buses, trucks, household appliances, and other badly-needed goods. Cuba took over the presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement for a period of three years. The Venezuelan-Cuban trade block, ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas), which had started with only those two countries as a counterpart to the US-sponsored FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas, ALCA in Spanish) added Bolivia and, soon after, Nicaragua. (This year, a Caribbean island nation, Dominica, joined the group.) Ecuador elected a socialist president, and Brazil and Argentina kept left-of-center governments in new elections. Daniel Ortega returned to the presidency of Nicaragua.

Cuba developed positive relations with the U.S.’s close ally, Colombia, and now Mexico is reestablishing its former close relations with Cuba. Recently, the presidents of former opponents Honduras and Guatemala visited Cuba bringing warm words of praise for Cuban assistance and proposals for closer ties.

In brief, Cuba’s economy began to emerge from the Special Period. Many inefficiencies and bad habits from that era remain, however, and, as Acting President, Raul Castro last year called for a thorough discussion of these with an eye to initiating reforms. Some minor reforms have already been put into place, but broader reforms can be expected now that Fidel Castro has resigned his position and called for a new generation to take over.

At the United Nations, a ceremony takes place every year at which the General Assembly votes overwhelmingly to end the U.S. embargo on Cuba. Last year, the assembly voted 184 to 4 with 1 abstention against the US. The four votes in favor of the US position were, as usual, the US and Israel, and, this time, Palau and Marshall Islands, whose foreign relations by law are conducted by the US.

What had a chance to work in the 1990s, when the Cuban system was at its lowest point ever and neo-liberalism ruled Latin America, no longer looks like a good bet. Cuba is in the position to continue its project especially if reforms bring some material prosperity and comfort to the population. Right now the government is focussing resources and management efforts on key areas including food, housing and transportation,.

Both Cuba and the U.S. want the hostilities to be over, but each on its own terms. The Cuban side promises a new Cuban economic model, but still socialist even if reformed. The U.S. side continues to pursue an induced economic collapse and essentially a surrender by Cuba, neither of which is in the offing.

It looks like the standoff will continue.

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.