Cuba: Issues for the 111th Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
Pagination or Media Count:
Cuba, which remains a hard-line communist state with a poor record on human rights, commemorated the 50th anniversary of its revolution on January 1, 2009. Cubas political succession from the long-ruling Fidel Castro to his brother Raul in 2006 was characterized by a remarkable degree of stability. Fidel stepped down from power temporarily in July 2006 because of health reasons, and Raul assumed provisional control of the government until February 2008, when he officially became President. After Raul Castro officially assumed the presidency, his government announced a series of economic changes that included lifting restrictions on the sale of some electronic consumer products and cell phones. A major reform effort has focused on the agriculture sector in an effort to boost food production. While additional economic changes are likely, there has been disappointment that further reforms have not been forthcoming. The economy was hard hit by storms in 2008 that resulted in 10 billion in damages, and the current global financial crisis is causing further strains. Few observers expect the government to ease its tight control over the political system, which is backed up by a strong security apparatus.
- Government and Political Science