Earn your M.Ed. online with Concordia University. Scholarships now available.
 
|
 

U.S.-Cuba Relations

Cuban Economy and Communism
Having relied on its relationship with its ally – the Soviet Union – for economic trade and support, Cuba experienced a severe economic depression following the collapse of the Soviet system. In response, it eased many economic practices. In 1991, all references to Marxism and Leninism were removed from the Cuban constitution. In 1993, new laws were passed that allowed Cubans to own U.S. dollars, be self-employed, and open farmer's markets. In 1996, foreign companies were allowed to operate and own businesses and purchase real estate in Cuba.

U.S. Embargo
Since 1962, the United States has had an embargo against Cuba, preventing food and medicine (among other goods) to be traded between the two nations. The intent of the embargo has been to make life economically difficult on Cubans, compelling them to rise up against Castro and demand democracy. In 1996, the Helms-Burton Act was signed into law, permitting lawsuits against foreign companies that invest in Cuba. The effect has been to hamper growth and investment in Cuba. The United Nations, along with American allies such as Canada and Mexico, have called for repeal of Helms-Burton.

Cuban Human Rights
Amnesty International, a leading human rights watchdog group, often cites in its annual report of worldwide human rights violations Cuba's practice of holding prisoners of conscience. There are approximately 500 such prisoners being held for opposition to Cuba's present leadership or for attempting to organize political opposition. When Pope John Paul II visited the island in January 1998, he condemned the Cuban government's human rights record, but he also criticized the U.S. government's embargo.

Immigration Issues

  • In 1987, Cuba and the U.S. signed an agreement allowing for the emigration of 20,000 Cubans annually to the United States.

  • Illicit migration is a continuing problem; Cubans attempt to depart the island and enter the U.S. using homemade rafts, alien smugglers, or falsified visas. Some 3,800 Cubans took to the Florida Straits in 1999; the US Coast Guard interdicted about 40 percent of these migrants.

    Other Resources
    U.S. State Department Page on U.S.-Cuba Relations
    http://www.state.gov/www/regions/wha/cuba/policy.html

    Lonely Planet: Destination Cuba
    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations/caribbean/cuba/

    Global Exchange: History of the U.S. Blockade of Cuba
    http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/cuba/background/history.html

  • Highlights

    What's New

    Why educators choose Concordia University — Portland Online:

    Back to School Headquarters
    It's time to go Back to School! Feeling unprepared? We have you covered! Check out our very best resources and advice for New Teachers (applicable for the new and experienced), as well as Bulletin Board ideas, Icebreakers, Open House materials, and general Classroom Management tips for a successful new school year.

    Free Gift with Newsletter Sign-Up
    Do you receive our free newsletters? We send out seasonal content tie-ins, topical resources, and daily activities. And now when you sign up for any TeacherVision newsletter, we'll send you a packet of our most popular back-to-school essentials as a free gift!

    September Calendar of Events
    September is full events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Labor Day (9/7), Patriot Day (9/11), Grandparents Day (9/13), Rosh Hashanah (begins sundown 9/13), Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15-10/15), Constitution Week (9/17-23), Yom Kippur (begins 9/22), Autumn (begins 9/23), Ancestor Appreciation Day (begins 9/27), and Banned Books Week (9/27-10/3). Plus, celebrate Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and Library Card Sign-Up Month and all September long!

    Discounts for Teachers
    Start the new school year with cash in your pocket! We have some great ways to save money on the supplies that keep your classroom running: Money-Saving Tips for Teachers and Free & Cheap Rewards for Students. Plus, check out our Discounts for Teachers so you can save on office supplies, clothing, books, crafts and fabric, travel, and more!

    Free 7-Day Trial for TeacherVision®

    Sign up for a free trial and get access
    to our huge library of teaching materials!

    Start Trial