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September 18, 2019  
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Cuba: Background & Country Profile

Introduction Cuba
Background:
Fidel CASTRO led a rebel army to victory in 1959; his iron rule has held the country together since then. Cuba's Communist revolution, with Soviet support, was exported throughout Latin America and Africa during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The country is now slowly recovering from a severe economic recession in 1990, following the withdrawal of former Soviet subsidies, worth $4 billion to $6 billion annually. Cuba portrays its difficulties as the result of the US embargo in place since 1961. Illicit migration to the US - using homemade rafts, alien smugglers, or falsified visas - is a continuing problem. Some 2,500 Cubans attempted the crossing of the Straits of Florida in 2002; the US Coast Guard apprehended about 60% of the individuals.

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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