Useful summary of Cuban history and politics

I highly recommend the article which was published in the Council on Foreign Relations by Danielle Renwick and Brianna Lee. This is a good introduction to those who wish to get a clear and short summary of the political history and present situation in Cuba.

Some facts which are especially interesting:

>The Cuban government estimates that more than fifty years of stringent trade restrictions has amounted to a loss of $1.126 trillion.

>The State Department’s annual report for 2013 stated there was no evidence that the country provided training or weapons to terrorist groups. Cuba’s continued inclusion on the list [of states supporting terrorist organizations] was a major obstacle to talks about restoring diplomatic relations following the 2014 rapprochement

> In a 2014 report, Human Rights Watch said Cuba “continues to repress individuals and groups who criticize the government or call for basic human rights” through detentions, travel restrictions, beatings, and forced exile. The report also notes that Cuba released dozens of political prisoners and foreigners in Cuban prisons in 2010 and 2011.

>The Cuban exile community in the Miami area, which makes up about 5 percent of Florida’s population, has been “a pillar of Republican support in presidential elections since 1980,” writes Arturo Lopez-Levy in Foreign Policy. However, recent trends suggest that may change: Obama won the Cuban-American vote in Florida in the 2012 elections.

>A Pew Research poll found 63 percent of Americans supported resuming diplomatic relations, and 66 percent would like an end to the trade embargo. A Washington Post–ABC News poll found 74 percent of respondents were in favor of an end to the travel ban. A June 2014 Florida International University poll indicates a majority of Cuban Americans also support normalizing ties and ending the embargo, signaling a generational shift in attitudes toward the island. A 2015 poll conducted by the U.S. firm Bendixen & Amandi International found that 97 percent of Cubans favor the restoration of ties.

>In 2013, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution condemning the U.S. embargo for the twenty-second consecutive year, with 188 member countries backing the resolution and only two—the United States and Israel—opposing.

Article Reference: Renwick, D., Lee,B. (2015): U.S.-Cuba Relations, retrieved from http://www.cfr.org/cuba/us-cuba-relations/p11113 [Last accessed 31 May 2015]

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