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93

The reason Venezuela's economy collapsed was its over-reliance on oil exports. In the last half of the 20th century, the Venezuelan economy focused on growing its oil industry, while relying on imports for most other products. This worked quite well while the oil prices were exceptionally high. It stopped working in 2014 when the global oil price plummeted ...


90

Wait up a minute. Who says Cuba didn't fail spectacularly? Miami (and Florida in general) have a huge Cuban population. Generally, because Cubans did anything they could to leave that country during the 90's - even to the extent of risking their lives trying to boat/raft/etc their way up north. Here is the story of a person who grew up in Cuba after the ...


80

So why has the Cuban government not asked them to leave? The simple answer to that is that they have. From Wikipedia: The United States assumed territorial control over the southern portion of Guantánamo Bay under the 1903 Cuban–American Treaty of Relations. The United States exercises complete jurisdiction and control over this territory, while ...


77

Many countries consider themselves allies of the US, but few take foreign policy stances just because the US says so. (The US also does not always vote the same way as its allies.) The vast majority of the world consider the US embargo to be an act of revenge driven by the interests of Cuban Americans, and others who had property confiscated at the time of ...


58

I'm not even sure in what year that vote you mention was taken, because it's a UN tradition by now The UN General Assembly has, since 1992, passed a resolution every year condemning the ongoing impact of the embargo and declaring it in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and of international law. In 2014, out of the 193-nation assembly, 188 ...


47

Other answers focus on the US-Israeli relationship, but there is also no love lost between Cuba and Israel. Cuba sent troops to fight Israel in the Yom Kippur War after breaking relations the previous month; neither side chose to restore formal relations. Cuba continued supporting Palestinian guerrillas (like the PLO) until the collapse of the Soviet bloc. ...


28

Venezuela made a headlong rush into state ownership of businesses, at the direction of Chavez and Maduro. Consequently, the businesses saw their experienced executives replaced by friends of Chavez and Maduro, with more of an eye on loyalty than competence. As a direct result of this displacement of experienced people, not only was Venezuela hurt badly by ...


18

In the greatest documentary ever made, Fog of War, Secretary of Defense (1961-1968) Robert S. McNamara talks of meeting with Castro who said he recommended to Khrushchev to use nuclear weapons to eventually retaliate against America and that he was willing to totally destroy Cuba in the process. It wasn't until January, 1992, in a meeting chaired by Castro ...


15

Why is Cuba still leasing Guantanamo Bay to the US? Let's go back to: 1898: Spanish - American War Cuba belonged to Spain and fought for their independence as the Spanish empire diminished. US assisted Cuba by joining the Spanish - American War. Spain lost and gave the US control over some territories, including Cuba. 1899 - 1903: After Spanish - ...


14

Generally speaking external sanctions do not substantially affect a ruling elite directly. They can have a secondary effect e.g. oil sanctions reducing bribe opportunities, but these weren't a large factor with Cuba. For sanctions to cause the effective removal of a ruling group, a number of factors need to come together: enough of the population must be ...


13

The Soviet Union basically cut off support for Cuba at the end of the Cold War. Early 2000s American newspapers had articles about the practice of breeding and training oxen being revived in Cuba, because Cuba was no longer receiving subsidized oil from Russia and Azerbaijan. Economically, male oxen are like mules -- they require a substantial investment, ...


11

US has already caused a lot of harm towards Cuban by imposing the indirect sanction rules that forbid any ship that docks in Cuba seaport from docking in any US port for at least 6 months. That destroyed a lot of Cuba trade, and this even strengthens Castro propaganda that USA going to enslave Cuban, again. (Though Obama administration has lifted the embargo ...


11

This related question on skeptics.SE might answer the question: Did Fidel Castro put gay people into concentration camps?. Cuba operated forced labor camps for those that did not want to, or were not allowed to serve their military service. This included gay people. Conditions in these camps were described as bad (10-12 hours of work, spoiled food, etc). ...


10

As Press Secretary Josh Earnest pointed out at the time, "we’ve seen no evidence to indicate that those reports are true." A Cuban official also called the Fox News story "irresponsible and unfounded". Fidel Castro did meet with Assad as recently as 2010, but any military presence seems to have ended decades earlier.


9

There are quite a number of articles published regarding this, but it's a little opinion-based. I'll try to list sources as I explain: Why was the embargo stated in the first place? The origins of the embargo go back even further, to when Fidel Castro came to power Jan. 1, 1959. He quickly lost American support as he publicized private land and companies,...


9

Not sure if the source is the same but this is New York Times' take on the subject (a paper that is firmly left wing so hard to accuse them of possible bias): Details Emerge of Cold War Nuclear Threat by Cuba By WILLIAM J. BROADSEPT. 21, 2009 In the early 1980s, according to newly released documents, Fidel Castro was suggesting a Soviet nuclear strike ...


8

According to Gallup, in February of 2015, 12% of the American public had no opinion on the re-establishment of diplomatic ties with Cuba. This is compared to 59% of people who favored re-establishing ties and 30% who opposed it. A lot of debate in the United States on Cuba centers around some key issues: travel restrictions, basic human rights, seized ...


8

I won't quote all the sources listed here, but their TL;DR summary is ANALYSIS: The dividing line between those who have an ax to grind and those who don't falls in the 5,000-12,000 range. The BBC has this report (Spanish site, translated) The Miami-based Archivo Cuba organization points out, for example, that in the more than half a century of the ...


7

This is a pretty badly framed question, particularly in its title, but if the question centers on Che's role in the camp[s]... No legitimate arguments can be made to defend Che's principal role in setting up Cuba's first labor camp in the Guanahacabibes region in western Cuba in 1960-1961, to confine people who had committed no crime punishable by law, ...


6

It also should be noted that there is still significant support for the embargo in the Cuban-American community. It's shrinking as the first generation immigrants die off, but the second generation is still very much against eliminating it. For example, all three Cuban-American Senators (Bob Menendez, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz) are against ending the ...


6

Additionally to Alex's answer, the embargo is far less likely to work if it's ineffective in preventing other major powers from engaging with the country. Most notably, Cuba has been USSR's (and to a lesser extent, Russia's) client state. This included enormous amount of economic aid and trade. (source1, source2). For a really excellent overview, see "...


6

In theory, it should work how it's described above. In practice, this is what I witnessed while I lived in Cuba for 15 years. Regardless of what laws you see on the books, the unofficial rules are the ones that count: Rule 1: In order to be involved in any kind of politics, you must align perfectly within the Communist Party's ideology. How is it enforced? ...


6

Raul Castro's current term ends in 2018, and he has announced it will be his last. His heir apparent is Miguel Díaz-Canel, Cuba's first vice president since February 2013. He was born in 1960, a year after the revolution ended. That said, a new candidate to succeed Raul may arise from the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, scheduled for April ...


5

As Wikipedia explains, there is in fact an agreement, which predates the current Cuban regime. Cuba has protested it many times with plausible arguments but since the agreement is already in place, they don't have much leverage. Obviously, it would be dangerous for Cuba to confront the US militarily, especially now that they don't have the Soviet Union to ...


4

The simplest answer for why the US holds Guantanamo Bay is because they can. Cuba military is not even close to be capable of fending off a US invasion. Now, of course, the situation is more complicated than that; if the only issue were military might, the US would have taken over the whole country, not just the Bay. The reason they haven't done so is ...


4

In 2013, Cuban authorities have scrapped the exit visa requirement. According to an article by The Guardian, Cubans can now exit the countries freely. Cubans can stay overseas 2 years, up from the original 11 months without losing residency back home. However, the ability to travel overseas still depends on foreign governments' willingness to grant visa to ...


4

Cuban American Republicans in Florida have a history of opposing Castro. For example, the family of Senator Marco Rubio considered returning to Cuba after Batista was deposed by Castro but decided that Castro was no better. Traditionally the community has opposed rapprochement and favored Republicans. Republicans reciprocate by opposing rapprochement. ...


3

It is near impossible for someone having been born in the first half of the 20th century in USA to not have known about Cuba. For most of that century, America maintained solid ties with Cuba. As mentioned by Hugh Thomas in his book Cuba: The Pursuit For Freedom: By 1926 U.S companies owned 60% of the Cuban sugar industry and imported 95% of the total Cuban ...


3

I have no privileged information and cannot predict what will happen but I would be quite surprised if the US would vote for an end of the embargo or even abstain. At the end of the day, even if such a vote has basically no consequences, it's still a kind of interference in the US own decision-making process, something no country can accept or condone. From ...


3

He has stated that he would "terminate" the deal by Obama unless Cuba agrees to "make a better one". Trump has threatened to reverse the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba before. At a speech in Miami on September 16, he stated that "all of the concessions that Barack Obama has granted the Castro regime were done with ...


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