Cuba Recent History

By | December 16, 2021

Reached by Cuba Colombo (1492), Cuba was colonized by the Spaniards from 1511, assuming a strategic and commercial role in the trade between the mother country and the New World; hence the frequent raids of privateers and smuggling. In 1762 Havana underwent a brief British occupation (Seven Years War). The development, from the beginning of the 19th century, of the independence movement, was intertwined with the requests for the liberation of slaves opposed by the Creole oligarchy which aspired to annexation to the USA and tried to direct the struggle against Spain in this direction.. A first war of independence (1868-78) ended with the granting of some reforms by Spain, including the gradual abolition of slavery (1880-86); a second insurrection (1895) ended with the intervention of Washington and the Spanish-American war of 1898. Defeating Spain, the USA had the so-called ‘ Platt amendment ‘ inserted in the Constitution of the new state (1901), named after the US senator (➔ OH Platt), which established a sort of protectorate on the island (in 1903 the United States established the naval base of Guantánamo).

The first decades after independence were characterized by considerable political instability (conflicts within the oligarchy, uprisings of the lower classes) and an ever stronger dependence on the USA. The rise to power of F. Batista, who from 1933 took control of the country, also occurred following a growth in nationalist demands which resulted in the abrogation of the Platt amendment. However, Batista reconfirmed traditional relations with the United States. Internally, Batista’s authoritarianism was accompanied by a policy of modernizing the country. The new Constitution of 1940, followed by Batista’s election to the presidency of the Republic (1940-44), allowed for relative democracy, while the influence of the Communist Party (since 1943 Partido Socialista Popular, PSP) and trade union organizations grew. For Cuba history, please check historyaah.com.

The guerrilla war started in 1956 by F. Castro with Movimiento 26 de julio, he gained widespread popular support and succeeded in overthrowing the dictatorship of Batista (1959). With the 1940 Constitution suspended, Castro assumed the office of prime minister and initiated a policy of radical reforms (agrarian in 1959). The reaction of the United States, which saw its interests in the island affected, provoked growing conflicts with the government of Havana, which in 1960 re-established diplomatic relations with the USSR and launched an extensive program of nationalizations. Washington’s refusal to return the Guantánamo base to Cuba aggravated the situation and, after the breakdown of diplomatic relations between the two states (1961) and the failed invasion (Bay of Pigs) by US-backed Cuban exiles, the revolution assumed an openly socialist character, COMECON in 1972). After the international crisis of 1962 (the US naval block responded to the installation of Soviet missiles in Cuba), the Cuban attempt to break the encirclement, trying to extend the revolution in Latin America, was unsuccessful. The Cuban Communist Partido (PCC; born from the merger of Movimiento 26 de julio with the PSP) from 1970 consolidated in power and confirmed Castro as first secretary. In 1976 the new Constitution was approved and Castro was elected president of the Council of State and of the new Council of Ministers (confirmed in 1981 and 1986).

During the 1970s and 1980s, numerous Latin American countries re-established relations with Havana. On the other hand, relations with the United States remained tense, mainly due to the Central American situation. Serious economic consequences had the gradual loss of Soviet support after 1989, accompanied by the continuation of the embargo (Cuban democracy act, 1992). The regime continued to repress all forms of dissent, while maintaining a relatively high consensus, the result of the social gains achieved by the revolution. In the meantime, he embarked on the path of liberalizing the economy with the launch (1995) of a law that opened almost all sectors of the economy to companies with wholly foreign capital as well. A crucial moment was the visit of the pope in 1998 John Paul II, at the same time as a phase of détente with political opponents began, which led Washington to ease the sanctions (in 2000 the Senate voted in favor of the suspension of the embargo on the sale of medicines and foodstuffs) and contributed to break the island’s state of isolation.

In 2006 F. Castro for health reasons delegated the presidency to his brother Raúl, a handover formally ratified by the National Assembly after the 2008 elections. 2013 Raúlwas reappointed for a second five-year term as President of the Council of State.

In 2013, a progressive process of rapprochement between Cuba and the USA began, in which the Holy See played a cardinal role, which in March 2014 had invited the two countries to detente in bilateral relations; in December of the same year Cuba and the United States reopened an official channel of dialogue in the circumstance of an exchange of prisoners. In July 2015, Obama announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Havana, hoping for a new phase in economic relations that could lead to a lifting of the embargo against Cuba, and on the 20th of the same month the US and Cuban embassies in Havana were reopened. ‘Havana and Washington; in March 2016, as part of the normalization process of relations between the two countries, the president of the United States visited the country for the first time meeting R. Castro on Cuban soil. In April 2018, after Castro’s second five-year term expired, M. Díaz-Canel was elected by the National Assembly, voted by 603 out of 604 deputies and the first head of state of Cuba since the 1959 Revolution not belonging to the Castro family. Limited economic and institutional changes were approved through a referendum held in February 2019, to which 86% of voters expressed a positive opinion on the launch of a reform of the Constitution which, among other points, authorizes some forms of private property in the activities economic status of the island, setting a limit of five years for the holding of the highest offices, with the sharing of powers between the figures of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister. In December 2019 the Parliament elected M. Marrero Cruz, the first since 1976, the year in which F. Castro abolished this office, while in April 2021 R. Castro renounced the position of first secretary of the CCP, leaving him the guide to President Díaz-Canel; in the following months, the worsening of the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration generated protests, severely repressed by the police. April 2021 R. Castro resigned from the position of first secretary of the CCP, leaving the leadership to President Díaz-Canel; in the following months, the worsening of the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration generated protests, severely repressed by the police. April 2021 R. Castro resigned from the position of first secretary of the CCP, leaving the leadership to President Díaz-Canel; in the following months, the worsening of the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration generated protests, severely repressed by the police.

Cuba Recent History