Modern Cuban HIstory

This came to a head in 1962, when Soviet nuclear missiles were discovered in Cuba. That October was the closest the world has come to a nuclear war that would have likely ended the human race. Cuba, then, is the place where the world almost changed in a flash.

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the Cuban economy went with it. This is what is called the Special Period in Cuban history. It was marked with starvation, poverty, and desperation that lasted roughly from 1991-200 depending on who you ask. Fidel died in 2016, devolving power to his brother, Raul. As of 2019, Communist party loyalist Miguel Diaz-Canel is the president and head of state.

As the 2000s dragged on in Cuba, the economy has not improved much, and the vast majority of people live in extreme poverty. The exceptions to this are a small number of elites, which, in case you remember the history portion, is much the same issue as was the case pre-1959. Now, with the Soviet Union a fading memory and the internet allowing information in and out of Cuba more easily than ever before, change appeared to be on the horizon.

There have been some attempts, for example by the Obama administration, to ease relations to allow for more dialogue that would help the Cuban people in terms of economic wellbeing. Those have not gone much of anywhere, and conditions on the island remain dire. Outside of a few sparking districts in Havana, much of the country lives in extreme poverty.