On July 20, 2015, Cuba and the United States reestablished diplomatic relations that had been cut during the Cold War in 1961. In 1961, the United States cut diplomatic ties with Cuba and launched a campaign of terrorism and covert activities to destabilize the Cuban government.
Since then, the two countries have sought to improve their relationship through negotiations, but the United States has not reversed its policy of sanctions against Cuba. However, the two countries do trade by means of private businesses and travel agencies that help people go back and forth between them. Also, several thousand Americans live in Cuba as part of what is called "wet foot/dry foot" policy. If they can reach Florida soil first, they can apply for permanent residency cards known as "Cuban passports". Otherwise, they will be returned home.
Cuba's economy is based on tourism and exports, mainly sugar. It receives aid from Venezuela and Russia, but these relationships are subject to change depending on how politics in each country is going. For example, when President Obama was first elected, he decided to restore relations with Cuba, but after Donald Trump took office this decision was reversed.
Cuba has one of the highest murder rates in the world. There have been allegations that the government commits human rights violations including torture, but the Cuban government has rejected these claims.
Bilateral ties deteriorated significantly following the 1959 Cuban Revolution. This led to the formation of two separate but connected communist states in America's own backyard.
In 1962, the United States imposed a trade embargo against Cuba. This measure was one of the main reasons why most industries within Cuba abandoned their operations there. The last major trade agreement between the two countries was signed in 2008, which allowed for limited trade between them.
Cuba has been accused by some American politicians and business people of being an economic partner of North Korea. However, the two countries do not have any formal alliance and neither supports the other with arms.
Cuba has also been accused of providing military assistance and training to Venezuela during its oil boom. However, like North Korea, Cuba has denied these allegations and says it only provides medical services to patients in need.
Finally, some Americans believe that Cuba's government is too close to Russia and China and that they should be punished for it. There have been several attempts made to pass legislation that would impose sanctions on Cuba, but they all failed.
The majority of Cubans don't support the government and view the United States as the enemy.
In 1961, the United States cut diplomatic ties with Cuba and launched a campaign of terrorist assaults and covert activities to destabilize the Cuban government. This campaign succeeded in bringing about the collapse of the Cuban government and the installation of a communist regime.
Cuba has been under communist rule since 1959. The United States has maintained its stance that the Castro regime is not legitimate and has condemned many of its actions against freedom of speech and religion. However, Americans can travel to Cuba as long as they have a passport and a visa. Some businesses also operate on an "underground" market place that uses foreign companies to do business with each other without violating American law.
In 2015, President Obama announced that the United States would re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba. He granted individuals and organizations permission to visit the country and do business with Cuba's private sector if they don't involve government agencies or state-owned enterprises.
Cuba is one of the most impoverished countries in the world. It has very limited resources and suffers from high rates of unemployment (20% for men) and underemployment (10% for women). Approximately half of all Cubans are considered to be at risk of malnutrition. Despite this, health care is free for everyone.
Cuban-American relations were formally re-established on July 20, 2015, with the inauguration of the Cuban embassy in Washington and the US embassy in Havana. In March 2016, Barack Obama paid a three-day visit to Cuba. The two countries restored full diplomatic relations after more than 50 years of separation.
On November 22, 2014, President Obama announced that the United States would normalize relations with Cuba. This followed an announcement made by President Raul Castro in June 2013, that Cuba would begin to open up its economy to foreign investment and trade.
Cuba has been economically isolated from the rest of the world since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Before then, the United States had an economic alliance with Cuba known as the "troika" (referring to Italy, Japan and the United States). This agreement allowed American companies to operate on the island without restrictions.
Cuba has become one of the largest markets for American goods and services. In fact, according to some estimates, Cuba is now America's number one trading partner in Latin America. In addition to commerce, there are approximately 4,000 Americans living on the island working in different sectors such as education, health care, tourism and agriculture.