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  • 13 July, 2021

  • 8 Min Read

Protests in Cuba

CUBA Protests

Thousands of people in the small island nation of Cuba took to the streets on Sunday against the country’s communist government against collapsing economy and the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and shortage of food and lack of some basic medicines

Why’s the economy falling?

  • Cuba's economy is struggling as Tourism, one of the most important sectors, has been devastated by the restrictions on travel during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Sugar, which is mostly exported, is another key earner for Cuba. However, 2021's harvest has been much worse than expected.
  • The shortfall was to blame on a number of factors, including a lack of fuel and the breakdown of machinery which made bringing in the harvest difficult, as well as natural factors such as humidity in the fields.
  • Consequently, the government's reserves of foreign currency are depleted, meaning it cannot buy imported goods to supplement shortages.
  • President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who also heads the Communist Party , blamed the unrest on the USA, an old Cold War foe.
  • In recent years, the US has tightened its trade embargo on Cuba.
  • He called its tight sanctions on Cuba - which have been in place in various forms since 1962 - a "policy of economic suffocation".
  • Allegedly, it is also manipulating social media campaigns and is sending “mercenaries” on the ground to provoke protests.
  • Thousands of protestors have gathered Havana, chanting “Fidel” and are demanding the stepping down of Diaz-Canel.

About Cuba-


  • Cuba, country of the West Indies, the largest single island of the archipelago, and one of the more-influential states of the Caribbean region.
  • The country is situated in the western West Indies, between the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, south of Florida and The Bahamas, north of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
  • Cuba shares maritime borders with The Bahamas, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, and the United States.
  • Cuba is one of the islands of the Greater Antilles archipelago, the others are Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Cayman Islands.
  • The island nation has a population of 11.4 million (official estimate 2014); capital and largest city is Havana (Habana); official language is Spanish.
  • Its per capita GDP is roughly $8,000 and it has a majority population of Christians.

Cuban Revolution, 1959

  • Fidel Castro established a revolutionary socialist state in Cuba after he and a group of guerrilla fighters successfully revolt against President Fulgencio Batista who had been supported by the U.S. government for his anticommunist stance.

Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962

  • U.S. spy satellites discover that Cuba has allowed the Soviet Union to build nuclear missile bases on the island.
  • With the threat of nuclear war on the horizon, the United States negotiates with the USSR via back channels.
  • As the crisis nears its third week, the US secretly agrees to withdraw its nuclear missiles from Turkey within a few months if the Soviet Union withdraws its missiles from Cuba.
  • US also pledges not to invade Cuba.
  • Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev accepts the deal and announces that he will order the missiles removed.
  • USA prohibited U.S. nationals from traveling to Cuba.

Read about Cuba’s Political Developments in the Cold War Era

India-Cuba Relations:


  • India was amongst the first countries to extend recognition to Cuba after the 1959 Revolution.
  • Both countries have maintained close contacts with each other in various international fora, such as the United Nations (UN), Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), World Trade Organization (WTO), etc.
  • India has been supporting Cuba against US supported resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council and also consistently voted in favour of Cuban sponsored resolutions in the UN General Assembly calling for lifting of US sanctions against Cuba.
  • Cuba supports India’s inclusion as a permanent member in the restructured UN Security Council.
  • Cuba also voted in favour of India’s candidature for Non- Seat in UNSC.
  • Cuba has also joined the International Solar Alliance, an India-France initiative.


  • Bilateral trade between India and Cuba stands at USD 38.81 Million (as of 2017).
  • India and Cuba agreed to collaborate in the areas of Biotechnology, Homeopathy and the traditional system of medicine during the visit of the President of India to Cuba in 2019.
  • India provides development assistance to Cuba in various sectors, and in January 2019 made a donation of 60 tractors with accessories, medicines and medical equipment to the island.


  • In Cuba, Yoga and Vipassana meditation are practiced. Interest in Ayurveda and Indian Naturopathy is increasing.
  • Rabindranath Tagore’s birth anniversary is celebrated every year.
  • In May, 2007, a bust of Rabindranath Tagore donated by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) was unveiled in Old Havana.
  • There is a bust of Mahatma Gandhi and a statue of Mother Teresa in Havana.
  • Cuba also celebrated International Day of Yoga, Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary and 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

Source: TH

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