Fidel Castro Current Affairs

Cuba’s former President Fidel Castro passes away

Cuba’s former president and leader of the Communist revolution Fidel Castro passed away due to old age. He was 90.

He was commander in chief of the 1959 Cuban revolution 1959  and had successfully built a communist state on the doorstep of the United States during Cold War.

He had ruled Cuba as a one-party state for almost half a century (from 1976 to 2008) before handing over the powers to his brother Raul Castro in 2008 due to ill health.

About Fidel Castro

  • He was born as Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz on August 13, 1926 in Birán, Holguin Province, Cuba.
  • In 1953, he was imprisoned after leading an unsuccessful rising against Batista’s regime. However was released in 1955 from prison under an amnesty deal.
  • In 1956, Castro along with Che Guevara started a guerrilla war against the Cuban government led by US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista.
  • In 1959, he overthrew dictator Fulgencio Batista Government in through Communist revolution. He was sworn in as prime minister and was in office from 1959 to 1976.
  • In 1960, he successfully fought off CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion by Cuban exiles. He also defied many attempts even assassination attempts of US to topple him from power.
  • 1962, under his leadership Cuba allowed USSR can deploy nuclear missiles on its territory which had resulted into Cuban missile crisis.
  • Under his leadership, Cuba became a one-party communist state, industry and business were nationalized and state socialist reforms implemented throughout society.
  • His greatest legacy is free healthcare and education, which have given Cuba some of the region’s best human development statistics.
  • In 2008, he stepped down as President of Cuba due to health issues. He was in office from 1976 to 2008. He world’s third longest-serving head of state, after Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and the King of Thailand.

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New travel and trade rules between US and Cuba come into effect

New travel and trade rules between the United States (US) and Cuba have come into effect on 16 January 2015.

It is considered as biggest policy shift between the two countries in more than 50 years after restrictions were imposed on travel and trade .

New travel and trade rules between the US and Cuba

  • It allows US citizens to use credit cards in Cuba and US businesses to export some technologies. Earlier this facility was not available to US citizens.
  • It also allowed US citizens to take home up to 100 dollar in alcohol and tobacco from Cuba.

Background

  • These new travel and trade rules are implemented after US and Cuba agreed to re-establish diplomatic ties between the two countries in December 2014.
  • Enmity between US government and Cuba’s communist government started in 1959 after the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro had overthrown then Cuban President Fulgencio Batista.
  • In 1961, Cuba had broken all its diplomatic relations with US and had joined hands with US cold war rival Soviet Union. During this time, US had imposed travel and trade ban on Cuba.
  • Enmity between both nations had attained its peak in 1962 after Cuban missile crisis that brought whole world to the brink of nuclear war.
  • But after the fall of Soviet Union in 1991, Cuba was left alone without any strong international support.

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