Brief history of Cuba

Before Columbus:

What is known to this day about the pre-Columbian inhabitants of Cuba comes from the stories of the conquerors, called Cronistas de las Indias, such as Bartolomé de las Casas, who distinguished three different cultures in terms of ethnic, linguistic and technological and social development features: Guanahatabey, Siboney (or Sibuney) and Taína.

In the last century, archaeological, ethnological and morphological studies have made it possible to investigate further the life of those first inhabitants who arrived on the island in migrations from continental America. Those first groups were Palaeolithic hunters of Mongoloid origin. The second migration, 4500 years ago, came from Central and South America; they had a physiognomy similar to that of the first group. The third and fourth migration came from the Antilles around 500 BC. A classification more attentive to the evolution of these human groups also establishes three groups: the age of the shell (Guanahatabey), the age of the stone (Siboney) and the age of pottery (Taína).

These groups had in common a matriarchal gentile organization, with division of labor by sex and age with a form of animistic religion and ancestor worship.

In recent genetic studies, it has been possible to verify the existence of distant descendants of the Taino aborigines, who were believed to be totally extinct. These descendants live mixed with the rest of the population, mainly in rural communities in eastern Cuba and, although they do not lead an exact life to that of their ancestors, they do preserve part of the language, dances and way of cooking some foods.

Colonial Stage: 1492-1898

On October 27, 1492, three Spanish ships, commanded by Christopher Columbus, arrived on Cuban shores through the Bariay area, today Holguín province: La Pinta, La Niña and Santa María.

Columbus named the Island of Cuba as Isla Juana in deference to Prince Juan, heir to the crown. [13] Columbus thought that he had reached the East Indies and did not imagine that behind this small island, there was a gigantic continent, unknown to the European world. According to the Cartas de Indias, once Columbus stepped on Cuban soil, he knelt in the sand and with his head tilted upward exclaimed: “This is the most beautiful land that human eyes have ever seen.”

In 1513, Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar was sent by the kings of Spain as advance of the Court for the new possessions of the kingdom. He was appointed governor of Cuba, with the power to found villages and carry out distributions of Indians, among other actions.

Velázquez had already founded the first town in Cuban territory, Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa in 1511. In 1513 he founded San Salvador de Bayamo, thus preparing the next phase of the conquest, the exploration of the rest of the island, a step prior to the creation of new villas. In January 1514 Trinidad was founded. On February 2, 1514, the only town on the north coast (which would be moved to the interior), Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe (current Camagüey), was founded. Between April and May 1514, San Cristóbal de La Habana and Sancti Spíritus were founded. On June 24, 1514, San Juan de los Remedios was founded. Finally, in August 1515, Santiago de Cuba was established, which would be the first capital of colonial Cuba until the seat of the governor was definitively transferred to San Cristóbal de La Habana, in the middle of the 16th century.

The most important economic sector in these early years of the colony was the extraction of gold and other forms of mining with the employment of aborigines as well as some black slaves who were integrated from very early to the ethnic conglomerate that centuries later would constitute the Cuban people.

As a result of the wars between France and Spain, the first French corsairs made their presence in the Caribbean, later joined by English and Dutch pirates. However, it was the Gauls who attacked the island, such as Roberto de Baal and Jacques de Sores leaving fear and destruction behind so Spain had to take serious measures to protect her newly acquired possessions.

The first thing was to create the Fleet System or Single Port, during which all the ships of the West Indies (Latin America) had to leave together for Spain from the Bay of Havana, as well as to build a system of fortifications mainly in Havana, which developed an unprecedented commercial boom in the city with the growth of its population and the diversification of its activity through the creation of new trades.

The development of cities and towns was markedly uneven. Havana became, in the middle of the century, the third city and the first port in the New World with an active and bustling port and commercial life. In 1728 the Royal and Pontifical University of San Gerónimo de La Habana and the San José school were founded, which together with the convents of Belén and San Francisco, teach in the capital, and the Seminary of San Basilio el Magno in Santiago de Cuba.

Shortly British:

When the war between France and England broke out, Spain would enter in favor of France. This contest served as the stage for the English to lead the largest navy that had crossed the Atlantic under the leadership of Sir Jorge Pockock with the aim of taking Havana. The city was defended in a combative way both by the Creoles, led by José Antonio Gómez (a militia captain from the nearby town of Guanabacoa, who died as a result of the fighting) and by Spaniards led by the Spanish captain, Don Luis de Velasco. However, on August 12, 1762, the capitulation of the city was signed, the following day the British troops entered triumphant. This occupation lasted eleven months only and was concentrated in Havana and the west of the island.

On July 6, 1763, Lieutenant General Ambrosio de Funes y Villalpando, Count of Ricla, took possession of the government of Cuba, on behalf of the King of Spain. In exchange for the strategic position, the Florida Peninsula was given to Great Britain.

After the British occupation:

Under the command of the Count of Ricla and his successor, the Marqués de la Torre, Havana increased the paving and began lighting the streets, ordered sanitary measures, and began the construction of the first Havana promenade, the Alameda de Paula; from the first theater, El Principal; and the Palace of the General Captains. The first population census was carried out in 1774 and the urban layout of the city began, by means of which the guano houses were prohibited, imposing a new architecture of large and ostentatious palaces.

Creole landowners became rich throughout the country and their new power materialized in institutions that, such as the Economic Society Friends of the Country and the Royal Consulate, channeled their influence into the colonial government.

It is important to mention in this stage of the late 18th century, the influence of the Haitian Revolution and the benefits that the French settlers and their slaves contributed to the coffee industry, mainly in Santiago de Cuba and Guatanamo where most of them settled, after escaping from Haiti. Thanks to its sowing and treatment techniques for this grain, Cuba managed to develop this industry with great boom until the middle of the 19th century, at which time Brazil and Colombia entered the international market with large productions and very competitive prices for the Cuban market. Over the years, it has been possible to maintain a local coffee industry, with some exports and large national consumption.

In this economic context, a closed and brilliant group of men of thinking, the Generation of ’92 or the Cuban Reformist Enlightenment, made their entry onto the Cuban historical scene. Francisco de Arango y Parreño is the most brilliant speaker of the socioeconomic project and the one with the greatest political acumen.

The main proposals of this group led by Parreño were: free trade in slaves; increase in slavery to meet the needs of the workforce, technological development of sugar manufacturing, scientific development of the country, freedom of trade, among others.

Political and economical consolidation:

Around 1802, another trend began to be observed in the Cuban Reformist Enlightenment. The movement gathers around the bishop of Havana Juan José Díaz de Espada Fernández y Landa. The activity of this new group is directed more to the social sphere than to the economic one.

From the political point of view, its projection is not homogeneous, although all its members show adherence to modern political ideas, a decentralizing and autonomous tendency and the weighting of what is a Cuban thinking in formation.

Bishop Espada is anti-racist, anti-slavery, critical of the oligarchy, and he undertakes a development project based on small agricultural properties. This is the current in which Félix Varela, José de la Luz y Caballero, José Antonio Saco, Felipe Poey and Domingo del Monte were formed.

Another political current pinned its hopes of solving Cuban problems on annexation to the United States. A sector of the slave farmers saw in their incorporation of Cuba into the United States a guarantee for the survival of slavery, given the support they would find in the southern states. These, grouped in the “Club of Havana”, favored the efforts to purchase the island by the government of Washington, as well as the possibilities of a “liberating” invasion led by an American general against Spain.

In this last direction, Narciso López, a general of Venezuelan origin, directed his efforts and, after two unsuccessful expeditions, was captured and executed by the colonial authorities in 1851. Although he is not considered a hero exactly in Cuban history books, Narciso López had always been recognized as the first one who introduced in the country the first Cuban flag in 1850. This original is kept in the Museum of the City in Havana.

Another more radical separatist current aspired to conquer the independence of Cuba. From early on (in 1810 the first independence conspiracy led by Román de la Luz was discovered) this separatism reached a peak in the early 1820s, when Masonic lodges and secret societies proliferated on the island. Two important conspiracies were aborted at this stage, that of the Suns and Rays of Bolívar (1823), in which the poet José María Heredia participated – the summit of Cuban literary romanticism – and later that of the Great Black Eagle Legion encouraged from Mexico.

Father Félix Varela Morales, defined by Luz y Caballero as “the first one who taught us to think”, was the initiator of the ideology of Cuban independence. Educator, sagacious politician, philosopher, he argued that Cuba should be independent from both Spain and the United States and that independence would only be real if it was achieved with its own means and by its own natives. He was sentenced to death by the Spanish Crown, he lived in exile until his death in 1853. His effort, however, would take many years to bear fruit because the circumstances, both internal and external, were not favorable to the independence.

The emergence and development of these political currents was closely linked to growing economic development, mainly in the sugar industry with the introduction of the railroad and the steam engine, which greatly expedited and increased the production and export of Cuban sugar, as well as the number of new wealthy landowners who joined one or another political line, according to their interests.

Wars of Independence (1868-1898)

The Ten Years War

On October 10, 1868, at the “La Demajagua” sugar mill, which belonged to the landowner Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, in the Manzanillo Region, he freed his slaves and without imposing anything on them, he invited them to start the fight against Spanish colonialism imposed in Cuba. Thus began the revolutionary period of the struggles for the independence of Cuba that would not triumph until May 20, 1902.

During the period of the War, which for the time it extended took the name of the Ten Years’ War, great revolutionary leaders emerged, which had a historical significance in subsequent wars and contests. This is the case of Ignacio Agramonte, Antonio Maceo, Máximo Gómez, José Maceo, Vicente García González and Calixto García, among many others, all witnesses of the birth of the Republic of Cuba in Arms, when signing the first constitution in October 1869 and choosing as its first president Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, known to all Cubans as the Father of the Nation.

This period is also the moment of the birth of the Cuban Nationality, just on October 20th,1868, when the National Anthem was sung for the first time, the Nationalist feeling of the people was consolidated and the pride of being called Cubans: not Creoles, not peninsular or Spaniards, simply Cubans.

Serious internal leadership disagreements, contributed to end the war without achieving the so much wanted Independence of Cuba. But the lessons learned along the 10 years that lasted, where extremely important for the future.

The interwar period:

Between 1878 and 1895, the United States made significant investments in Cuba, especially in sugar, mining, and tobacco. By 1895 they amounted to 50 million pesos. At this stage, the United States intensified its commercial control over Cuba.

As a consequence of the war and the economic transformations that required skilled labor, Spain decreed in 1886 the abolition of slavery, which caused the increase of the proletariat.

Between 1879 and 1880 the Little War took place, prepared by Calixto García at the head of the Cuban Revolutionary Committee in New York. Within Cuba, Quintin Bandera, José Maceo and others joined in. There were important uprisings in Oriente and Las Villas. Spain triumphed easily and made the Cubans feel the need for much greater preparation and organization. Revolutionary ideas were promoted and more Cubans were encouraged to fight. Meanwhile, in Cuba, forces gathered for the uprising.

José Martí, our National Hero:

José Martí was the leading figure of the Cuban and continental 19th century. His political-social ideology transcended the borders of his homeland, setting guidelines that would lead Latin America to its “second independence”. With the creation of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, conceived as the only organization of all The Cuban independentists who had to obtain the material and human resources for the new emancipatory enterprise, and his work as a journalist of universal stature, promoted a work of clarification and unification, focused on the groups of Cuban emigrants, mainly in the United States, but with wide impact on the island. Martí promoted a tremendous renovation within the Hispanic letters of the end of the century.

The War of  1895:

On February 24, 1895, through a simultaneous uprising in Oriente and Matanzas, the independence struggle was resumed.

During the summer of 1895 the fighting spread to Oriente, Camagüey and Las Villas. In Oriente Maceo obtained important victories in the battles of El Jobito, Peralejo and Sao del Indio. In Camagüey, Gómez stay victorious in the combat of Altagracia and La Larga. Carlos Roloff and Serafín Sánchez stand in Las Villas.

On September 16, 1895, the Jimaguayú Assembly took place, as its parallel in 1869.

Between 1897 and 1898, Gómez directed La Reforma Campaign in Villa Clara territory. This campaign consisted of using guerrilla warfare, war of attrition with ambushes and lightning attacks of small groups to disorient the enemy and lead them to swampy terrain (manigua) to overcome them by disease and exhaustion. About 4,000 insurgents put 25,000 Spanish soldiers out of action.

From the East, Calixto García took the cities of Victoria de Las Tunas, Guisa, Jiguaní and Santa Rita with an efficient direction of the Mambisa artillery. Meanwhile, thousands of small and medium-scale actions took place in the West. The fate of Spanish colonialism was cast.

The Cuban forces were gaining more and more ground and the Spanish Army was rapidly weakening, in that situation the intervention of the United States took place.

In 1898 the American battleship Maine sank in the Bay of Havana due to an explosion in order to intervene in the war.

The conflict concluded with the signing of a peace treaty, the Treaty of Paris, on December 10, 1898, between Spain and the United States, completely excluding any Cuban representation, by virtue of which the United States received absolute control of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and the island of Guam.

First American intervention (1898-1902):

On January 1st, 1899, the occupation of Cuba by the United States began through the government that issued military orders.

During this period, the interventor government directs its actions on two sides. The first was to try to recover the country from the aftermath of the war, for this the government allocated direct aid to the population in food and medicine,prepared the Island Sanitation Plan and the creation of public schools.

The second was to ensure its privileged situation with respect to Cuba in the future republican stage. To do this, it lowers tariffs on US products that will invade the Cuban domestic market; creates the Law of Demarcation and division of communal estates, through which the State would appropriate many lands to be later sold to private US companies; through the railroad law would favor US investments in this area and would displace the British; and through mining concessions US companies obtain the right to exploit mines in Cuba.

The Constituent Assembly drafted and approved the 1901 Constitution of a liberal-democratic character, essentially establishing a republican and representative regime, the legislature was made up of a Senate and a House of Representatives.

As part of this Constitution, the Assembly had to provide and agree with the Government of the United States regarding the relations that should exist between both governments. In the midst of the work of the Cuban Commission in charge of ruling on future relations between Cuba and the United States, the United States Congress approves the Platt Amendment, with which the United States government granted itself the right to intervene in the internal affairs of the island whenever it understood it convenient.

Despite the opposition of the delegates to the Constituent Assembly, the US pressure, which placed Cubans before the dilemma of having a republic with the Amendment or continuing the occupation, managed to get it to be definitively approved by the Cubans on June 12, 1901.

Republic (1902-1958)

On May 20, 1902, the Republic of Cuba was born, with Tomás Estrada Palma elected as its first president. This first government would be responsible for the task of formalizing dependency ties with the United States. Although he was criticized for it, he was reelected.

 This caused the uprising of the opposition Liberal Party, unleashing a second US intervention, after which the Americans created the Cuban Permanent Army, so as not to have to reoccupy the country in the future.

The Cuban economy had grown very rapidly during the first two decades of the century, stimulated by the favorable conjuncture created by the recent world war. However, this growth was extremely one-sided, based almost exclusively on sugar and commercial relations with the United States. On the other hand, the US capital that had flowed to the island at an increasing rate were the main beneficiaries of the growth, since they controlled 70 percent of the sugar production in addition to its infrastructure and collateral businesses.

It is under these conditions that the labor movement is reorganized and strengthened under the leadership of prominent parties and leaders of the 1920s such as Alfredo López, Julio Antonio Mella representing the university groups and Rubén Martínez Villena at the head of the intellectuals. These organizations and their members staged a large number of protests and strikes that denounced the mismanagement and administration of each president who always acted in favor of US interests in Cuba.

In 1925, with Gerardo Machado as president, a period of great construction works such as the Capitol and the Central Highway began, which employed many workers. At the same time, Machado became the first dictator of Republican Cuba by governing with a repressive policy, materialized in the imprisonment, torture and murder of worker and student leaders such as Alfredo López and Julio A. Mella. These actions, along with the economic crisis aggravated by the Great Depression of 1929, culminated in a general strike in 1933 that forced Gerardo Machado to resign and flee to the United States.

The political crisis lasted from 1933 to 1940, with the succession of several presidents and governments that lasted from hours to a maximum of two years. During this period, the figure of Fulgencio Batista appears, first as a military sergeant capable of taking advantage of political instability to climb to become Chief of the Armed Forces, and finally, as President-elect in 1940.

In October of that same year, the new Constitution came into force, drawn up by all the political sectors of the country and whose Convention was attended by 76 delegates representing 9 political parties. This new Magna Carta collected important popular agreements and was one of the most advanced Constitutions of the time.

During this first Batista government, the economic situation experienced an improvement, mainly caused by the outbreak of the Second World War, which would also benefit subsequent governments, which in turn were characterized by political repression. New labor leaders were tortured and assassinated, leading to greater popular discontent, which was aggravated by the coup led by Batista on March 10, 1952, just a few months before the presidential elections, and with the sneaky support of the American mafia.

This second period of government was characterized by a broad economic opening for the mafia and US companies, as well as for Cuban landowners, large investments in tourism, mining and the sugar industry, combined with strong military repression, lack of political freedom, high number of unemployed, illiterate and poverty. Hunger, prostitution and gambling also prospered.

As a resistance to the coup d’état and the economic-social situation, the Centennial Generation arises, a group of young people who, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the birth of José Marti, leaned towards the armed struggle under the leadership of Fidel Castro Ruz, a law student at the University of Havana. Thus, on July 26, 1953, after months of preparation, they decided to storm the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba and begin a long period of struggles, exile, return and, finally, triumph, known as the Cuban Revolution.

 With the revolutionary triumph on January 1st, 1959, Batista fled Cuba with his family and closest collaborators, first to the Dominican Republic and then to Spain, where he died in 1974 always with the desire to be received in the United States, where he had family and properties, but it never happened.

1959-Present day:

The victory of Fidel and his followers had broad support not only popular, but also from other wealthier social classes who also yearned for a change of government in Cuba, mainly towards democracy.

With Manuel Urrutia as president and Fidel Castro at the head of the Armed Forces, the poorest could see their dreams come true through the Agrarian Reform, a new law that distributed idle lands in the hands of North American companies or rich Cuban landowners, to the thousands of peasant families without work or home. The Urban Reform, which made most rent-paying people homeowners. The Literacy Campaign throughout the country, made it possible to declare Cuba as the first country free of Illiteracy in Latin America. Access to free Public Health for all is finally a reality.

And many other projects that focused mainly on the social welfare of the people, which aroused early suspicions of the approach of the Cuban Revolution to the Socialist System, so that in the first years of the Revolution, there were also many who opposed the development of these projects to the detriment of economic development, for which they left the country establishing a new residence in the United States, mainly in Florida, and joining the ranks of the Republican Party that have always supported them with laws and actions that, without success, have had as the objective to defeat “the Castros”.

Others in disagreement with the new revolutionary leadership, such as President Urrutia were dismissed and replaced, and the former revolutionary commander Huber Matos was imprisoned after his resignation by openly opposing the course taken by the leaders of the Revolution, mainly Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Juan Almeida, Raúl Castro among others. A clear message for the rest.

The 1960s were very turbulent years and there were several confrontations between the new revolutionary government and the counterrevolutionary groups, whose members had given their support to Fidel to fight for the return of democracy in Cuba. These groups organized sabotage in the cities, the crops, persecuted and assassinated teachers and peasants involved in the Literacy Campaign and turned the hills of Guamuhaya, near Trinidad, into their trench.

The most notable of these confrontations was the Invasion of the Bay of Pigs in 1961, an action that had the support of the Eisenhower administration and the CIA. The latter was in charge of training the members of the 2506 Brigade, composed mainly of former soldiers of the Batista government, in military bases in Central America to disembark on Cuban coasts, establish a provisional government and with the support of the counterrevolutionary groups, overthrow the new revolutionary order.

This plan was inherited by President John F. Kennedy, who, seeing the failure of this action, withdrew the air support so necessary to achieve the objective of the mercenaries. Many of the counterrevolutionaries managed to flee but most were taken prisoner or executed after summary trials, or exchanged to the United States government for medicine and food, in addition to a 53 million dollars compensation to the Cuban people and the State.

The outcome of this failed invasion further consolidated the popularity of the leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, who even without being the President of the Republic, declared the socialist character of this Revolution on April 17th, 1961, just before leaving for the area of the clashes. This declaration, together with the profound transformation process that followed, such as the confiscation and prohibition of all types of private economic activity, the nationalization of all US companies, among others, was the beginning of the distancing of our main economic partner, who refused to continue buying the sugar quota and established an economic embargo almost immediately, thus making the United States the historic enemy of the Revolution, and the former Soviet Union our strongest ally and savior.

After the removal of President Manuel Urrutia, Osvaldo Dorticos was appointed to the position, which he always held in the shadow of Fidel Castro as his Prime Minister.

In 1976, the new Constitution was approved by popular referendum, according to the new socio-political system, eliminating the position of President and giving Fidel and the Communist Party the legal tools to take the reins of the country and perpetuate themselves in power.

Great social, political and economic changes occurred over 30 years. The development of socialism in Cuba was followed and supported with a mixture of fear of going back to Batista times or suffering a bigger and more destructive invasion than the Bay of Pigs experience, admiration and almost fanatical loyalty to the charismatic leader capable of defeating the most powerful country in the world, and resignation for those who did not have any other choice.

It’s great achievements in the field of Education, Public Health, Culture and Sports, were his main bastion before the International Community. However, with respect to the socialist economy implanted in the country, only with the economic support of the former Soviet Union was it possible to survive, and at the same time, this dependency brought drastic consequences after the fall of the Berlin wall, and the consequent fall of the socialist block in Eastern Europe in the 1990´s.

Crisis of the 90s: the “Special Period”

The 90s of the 20th century marked the beginning of new changes and transformations forced by the severe economic crisis of the country when losing the economic shelter that came from the socialist countries of Eastern Europe. The loss of almost 500 million dollars a year that the government of the former Soviet Union provided Cuba as aid in the form of guaranteed exports for the Cuban sugar market and obtaining cheap oil, generated a severe impact on the country’s economy. A period nothing “special” for Cubans, who suffered great shortages of all kinds and led them to an irregular emigration, known in 1994 as the rafters crisis, when they tried to cross the Straits of Florida in precarious boats or makeshift rafts.

Starting in 1995, the Cuban government was forced to make important changes in its economic policy without abandoning the socialist base of the Revolution. Foreign investments were encouraged; the development of tourism was promoted as well as a timid opening of private businesses; the possession of foreign currency was legalized and therefore, family remittances from abroad. All this made it possible to somewhat stabilize the situation of Cuban families towards the end of the 1990s, although it gave rise to marked differences between those citizens who received dollars and those who did not.

 This new economic situation, the high cost of living and the growth of the black market, the exchange of experiences with tourists and family members from other societies, drastically changed the feelings and thoughts of the Cuban people who little by little, became detached from the omnipresent Socialist State and created their own way of living, thinking and procuring a decent life.

Dissent began to be more notable, more visible even in the international sphere, where groups such as the Ladies in White, made up of the mothers, wives, sisters and daughters of political prisoners, have been recognized with awards from Human Rights organizations. But still 20 years after this semi-opening, the opposition groups have not managed to gain followers on a large scale. Most of its leaders, after years of persecution, repression, without the possibility of being heard and without results towards a free and democratic Cuba, opt for exile or silence. Society seems to yearn for change, but without making great sacrifices.

Post Fidel Castro Cuba:

In 2006 and for health reasons, Fidel temporarily ceded the presidency to his brother Raúl Castro and in 2008, Raúl was officially elected president by the Council of State, a continuity that did not surprise Cubans. However, under his mandate, the opening went a little further: a greater number of private activities were authorized; diplomatic relations with the United States were initiated and re-established under the presidency of Barack Obama, thus achieving the reopening of the American Embassy and the visit of the first American president to Cuba in years. Cuban trips abroad were also made more flexible and those who resided in other countries were allowed to maintain properties and small businesses in Cuba, as a way to attract investment.

In the political sphere there were not the changes that many demanded, especially the International Community. The Communist Party and the Socialist System remained as the sole regulators of the political, economic and social base of the country, with the difference that the President is no longer for life as in Fidel’s time, from now on he can only run for two terms of 5 years.

The reopening of Raúl Castro, along with the easing of the embargo by Obama, was reflected in Cuba with an explosion of private businesses and the hope that this economic bonanza would last, until benefiting the less favored still dependent on the low state wages, but with the end of the Obama era and the beginning of the Trump era, hope remained only in that. As expected, each Republican president takes action to stop any rapprochement with the Cuban government that has been promoted by his Democratic predecessor. As representatives of the most conservative part of the Cuban community in Florida, they will only accept this approach if the Cuban government agrees to free and democratic elections.

At present, Cuba maintains its single Party and a socialist economy with dissimilar formulas and experiments that still do not give the necessary results to fully satisfy the basic needs of its citizens. The quality of Education, Public Health, Sports and other pillars that were once the pride of the Nation, has been affected by years of crisis, mismanagement, the recent COVID 19 pandemic as well as an absolute effort of the State to control the most important lines of the economy. As they say in good Cuban: “the government chews on the private sector, but does not swallow it.”

The current president, Miguel Díaz Canel, represents the continuity of his predecessors juggling to carry out new formulas and experiments within the same line of the socialist economy, with the great difference of a Cuban society that is younger, more daring and more connected to the world through the Internet.

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