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* ''[[{{VideoGame/Driver}} Driver 2]]:'' Havana appears as one of the game's four explorable cities (albeit heavily scaled down so it can fit on a [=PS1=] disc), and was the first non-American city in the series as a whole. As expected, the streets are full of classic [='50s=] automobiles, [[RuleOfCool even the cop cars]].


This status quo remained more or less until the reign of "President"/dictator {{UsefulNotes/Fulgencio Batista}}, who maintained strong ties with the US government and even moreso with "legitimate" US businesses. While the role of the Mafia in pre-Revolutionary Cuba is heavily exaggerated, it was definitely present on both sides of the Florida straits. All of this made it seem like Batista would be able to continue lording it over like so many other strongmen had before him. But this state of affairs began to change when clamor for reform on the island coupled with growing US antipathy towards supporting his regime (particularly since he also wanted Guantanamo Bay back) ate away at his support until the 1959 Cuban Revolution, in which UsefulNotes/FidelCastro took over the country. The Castro regime's policies rapidly led to a complete breakdown of relations between Cuba and the West.

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This status quo remained more or less until the reign of "President"/dictator {{UsefulNotes/Fulgencio Batista}}, who maintained strong ties with the US government and even moreso with "legitimate" US businesses. While the role of the Mafia in pre-Revolutionary Cuba is heavily exaggerated, it was definitely present on both sides of the Florida straits. All of this made it seem like Batista would be able to continue lording it over like so many other strongmen had before him. But this state of affairs began to change when clamor for reform on the island coupled with growing US antipathy towards supporting his regime (particularly since he also wanted Guantanamo Bay back) ate away at his support until the 1959 Cuban Revolution, in which UsefulNotes/FidelCastro and his left-wing M-26-7 (26th of July Revolutionary Movement) took over the country.country after waging a fierce guerrilla war against Batista in the jungles and mountains. The Castro regime's policies rapidly led to a complete breakdown of relations between Cuba and the West.


The status quo in Cuba tottered along until the Soviet Union's collapse in the late 1980's. Cuba's enormous social spending and foreign adventurism had only ever been sustainable due to heavy Soviet aid, and they had no real systems in place to account for said aid stopping. This had an immediate and devastating effect on the Cuban economy since the USSR both the main commercial partner of Cuba for decades and the source of nearly a quarter of its entire economy via handouts in the form of [[https://www.nytimes.com/1988/03/16/world/soviet-said-to-reduce-support-for-cuban-economy.html $4-5 billion in annual subsidies.]] Cuban GDP contracted by over 25% in less than three years, an in a time where rest of the developing world (including its neighbor, the Dominican Republic) was rapidly getting richer. Unlike many other socialist states after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Cuba and the U.S did not normalize relations, and the U.S. maintained its embargo, hoping the regime would collapse. In what is known as "the Special Period" (early 90s), Cuba's economy suffered immensely, with simple necessities like toilet paper and food becoming even harder to find. Cuba started to focus more on tourism, and enough trade was attracted from Europe to slow the descent into the CrapsackWorld-ness of some of its Caribbean neighbors. Cuba continues to suffer shortages of every day commodities, a situation not helped by the ongoing US embargo-fiercely maintained through every US Presidential Administration for the past fifty years-or the Castro government's refusal to display fiscal responsibility, failures to utilize the rest of the world market, and unstinting hostility towards the US. However, it did [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_economic_reforms partly recover]] from the hell of the 90s thanks to rolling back some socialist policies (for example, 11,600 positions in 32 government ministries were eliminated in 1993, Soviet-style farms were abandoned, and farmers were now legally allowed to sell the surplus from their yield), cutting social spending as a direct result of the latter (the government also raised the rates for public services such as telephone, transportation and electricity), and instituting minor liberal reforms, such as legalizing self-employment, decriminalizing the possession and circulation of foreign exchange, and introducing bonuses based on work performance. This drew Castro heavy internal criticism for having "abandoned the socialist revolution", prompting him to respond that he had not abandoned the goals of socialism, but that Cuba "has to be ready to conduct necessary changes to adapt to present world conditions." However, on a separate occasion he bitterly described his reforms as "concessions to the enemy."

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The status quo in Cuba tottered along until the Soviet Union's collapse in the late 1980's. Cuba's enormous social spending and foreign adventurism had only ever been sustainable due to heavy Soviet aid, and they had no real systems in place to account for said aid stopping. This had an immediate and devastating effect on the Cuban economy since the USSR both the main commercial partner of Cuba for decades and the source of nearly a quarter of its entire economy via handouts in the form of [[https://www.nytimes.com/1988/03/16/world/soviet-said-to-reduce-support-for-cuban-economy.html $4-5 billion in annual subsidies.]] Cuban GDP contracted by over 25% in less than three years, an in a time where the rest of the developing world (including its neighbor, the formerly very poor Dominican Republic) was rapidly getting richer. Unlike many other socialist states after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Cuba and the U.S did not normalize relations, and the U.S. maintained its embargo, hoping the regime would collapse. In what is known as "the Special Period" (early 90s), Cuba's economy suffered immensely, with simple necessities like toilet paper and food becoming even harder to find. Cuba started to focus more on tourism, and enough trade was attracted from Europe to slow the descent into the CrapsackWorld-ness of some of its Caribbean neighbors. Cuba continues to suffer shortages of every day commodities, a situation not helped by the ongoing US embargo-fiercely maintained through every US Presidential Administration for the past fifty years-or the Castro government's refusal to display fiscal responsibility, failures to utilize the rest of the world market, and unstinting hostility towards the US. However, it did [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_economic_reforms partly recover]] from the hell of the 90s thanks to rolling back some socialist policies (for example, 11,600 positions in 32 government ministries were eliminated in 1993, Soviet-style farms were abandoned, and farmers were now legally allowed to sell the surplus from their yield), cutting social spending as a direct result of the latter (the government also raised the rates for public services such as telephone, transportation and electricity), and instituting minor liberal reforms, such as legalizing self-employment, decriminalizing the possession and circulation of foreign exchange, and introducing bonuses based on work performance. This drew Castro heavy internal criticism for having "abandoned the socialist revolution", prompting him to respond that he had not abandoned the goals of socialism, but that Cuba "has to be ready to conduct necessary changes to adapt to present world conditions." However, on a separate occasion he bitterly described his reforms as "concessions to the enemy."


The status quo in Cuba tottered along until the Soviet Union's collapse in the late 1980's. Cuba's enormous social spending and foreign adventurism had only ever been sustainable do to heavy Soviet aid, and they had no real systems in place to account for said aid stopping. This had an immediate and devastating effect on the Cuban economy since the USSR both the main commercial partner of Cuba for decades and the source of nearly a quarter of its entire economy via handouts in the form of [[https://www.nytimes.com/1988/03/16/world/soviet-said-to-reduce-support-for-cuban-economy.html $4-5 billion in annual subsidies.]] Cuban GDP contracted by over 25% in less than three years, an in a time where rest of the developing world (including its neighbor, the Dominican Republic) was rapidly getting richer. Unlike many other socialist states after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Cuba and the U.S did not normalize relations, and the U.S. maintained its embargo, hoping the regime would collapse. In what is known as "the Special Period" (early 90s), Cuba's economy suffered immensely, with simple necessities like toilet paper and food becoming even harder to find. Cuba started to focus more on tourism, and enough trade was attracted from Europe to slow the descent into the CrapsackWorld-ness of some of its Caribbean neighbors. Cuba continues to suffer shortages of every day commodities, a situation not helped by the ongoing US embargo-fiercely maintained through every US Presidential Administration for the past fifty years-or the Castro government's refusal to display fiscal responsibility, failures to utilize the rest of the world market, and unstinting hostility towards the US. However, it did [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_economic_reforms partly recover]] from the hell of the 90s thanks to rolling back some socialist policies (for example, 11,600 positions in 32 government ministries were eliminated in 1993, Soviet-style farms were abandoned, and farmers were now legally allowed to sell the surplus from their yield), cutting social spending as a direct result of the latter (the government also raised the rates for public services such as telephone, transportation and electricity), and instituting minor liberal reforms, such as legalizing self-employment, decriminalizing the possession and circulation of foreign exchange, and introducing bonuses based on work performance. This drew Castro heavy internal criticism for having "abandoned the socialist revolution", prompting him to respond that he had not abandoned the goals of socialism, but that Cuba "has to be ready to conduct necessary changes to adapt to present world conditions." However, on a separate occasion he bitterly described his reforms as "concessions to the enemy."

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The status quo in Cuba tottered along until the Soviet Union's collapse in the late 1980's. Cuba's enormous social spending and foreign adventurism had only ever been sustainable do due to heavy Soviet aid, and they had no real systems in place to account for said aid stopping. This had an immediate and devastating effect on the Cuban economy since the USSR both the main commercial partner of Cuba for decades and the source of nearly a quarter of its entire economy via handouts in the form of [[https://www.nytimes.com/1988/03/16/world/soviet-said-to-reduce-support-for-cuban-economy.html $4-5 billion in annual subsidies.]] Cuban GDP contracted by over 25% in less than three years, an in a time where rest of the developing world (including its neighbor, the Dominican Republic) was rapidly getting richer. Unlike many other socialist states after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Cuba and the U.S did not normalize relations, and the U.S. maintained its embargo, hoping the regime would collapse. In what is known as "the Special Period" (early 90s), Cuba's economy suffered immensely, with simple necessities like toilet paper and food becoming even harder to find. Cuba started to focus more on tourism, and enough trade was attracted from Europe to slow the descent into the CrapsackWorld-ness of some of its Caribbean neighbors. Cuba continues to suffer shortages of every day commodities, a situation not helped by the ongoing US embargo-fiercely maintained through every US Presidential Administration for the past fifty years-or the Castro government's refusal to display fiscal responsibility, failures to utilize the rest of the world market, and unstinting hostility towards the US. However, it did [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_economic_reforms partly recover]] from the hell of the 90s thanks to rolling back some socialist policies (for example, 11,600 positions in 32 government ministries were eliminated in 1993, Soviet-style farms were abandoned, and farmers were now legally allowed to sell the surplus from their yield), cutting social spending as a direct result of the latter (the government also raised the rates for public services such as telephone, transportation and electricity), and instituting minor liberal reforms, such as legalizing self-employment, decriminalizing the possession and circulation of foreign exchange, and introducing bonuses based on work performance. This drew Castro heavy internal criticism for having "abandoned the socialist revolution", prompting him to respond that he had not abandoned the goals of socialism, but that Cuba "has to be ready to conduct necessary changes to adapt to present world conditions." However, on a separate occasion he bitterly described his reforms as "concessions to the enemy."


The resulting [[UsefulNotes/BayOfPigsInvasion "Bay of Pigs"]] amphibious assault by a troop of Cuban exiles was a LastStand on par of Thermopylae tactically, but strategically and politically was an embarrassing failure. Already heavily leaning towards the authoritarian left, Castro swung fully towards an alliance with the Soviet Union, inviting military forces in to act as a counterbalance to another attempt. Things got hairy during the [[WorldWarIII Cuban Missile Crisis]], wherein the US learned that the Soviet Union had transferred some missiles to Cuba. After several days of nuclear brinkmanship and frantic diplomacy, the two superpowers avoided all-out war, leading to a relative thaw in US-USSR relationships. Castro was not present at the talks concerning the crisis, particularly because the Soviets were not sure if they could rely on him or allies like Che to keep their cool.

From 1966 to 1989 Cuba would aid the Angolan military in its military conflict, first against UsefulNotes/{{Portugal}}, then against an alliance of the rebel group UNITA and Apartheid South Africa in the 1960s. Cuba financed a number of revolutionary insurgencies around the world, including the Sandinistas and the South African rebel organizations such as the ANC. Che Guevara would die in this type of effort in Bolivia, most likely executed to avoid a trial. As a result of this Castro's reputation abroad is... [[FlameBait mixed]]. On one hand, he's considered a ruthless, opportunistic tyrant with a thirst for military adventurism that often was uglier than the US or even the Apartheid government cared to stomach. On the other, he is considered by some one of the founding fathers of Namibia, Angola, and racially equal South Africa (to the point where Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro were reported to be close friends).

The status quo in Cuba tottered along until the Soviet Union's collapse in the late 1980's. This had an immediate and devastating effect on the Cuban economy since the USSR was the main commercial partner of Cuba for decades, while the U.S insisted on maintaining an embargo on the economy, hoping the regime would collapse. In what is known as "the Special Period" (early 90s), Cuba's economy suffered immensely, with simple necessities like toilet paper and food becoming even harder to find. Cuba started to focus more on tourism, and enough trade was attracted from Europe to slow the descent into the CrapsackWorld-ness of some of its Caribbean neighbors. Cuba continues to suffer shortages of every day commodities, a situation not helped by the ongoing US embargo-fiercely maintained through every US Presidential Administration for the past fifty years-or the Castro government's failures to utilize the rest of the world market and unstinting hostility towards the US.

Until his official retirement in 2008, Castro was one of the longest-serving leaders in world history who wasn't a monarch. His brother Raúl has taken over and he's no young 'un; what will happen after ''his'' passing is anyone's guess.

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The resulting [[UsefulNotes/BayOfPigsInvasion "Bay of Pigs"]] amphibious assault by a troop of Cuban exiles was a LastStand on par of Thermopylae tactically, but strategically and politically was an embarrassing failure. Enough to convince the U.S. establishment to abandon support for anti-Castro insurgents inside Cuba, who were progressively defeated in the bloody but relatively unknown [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escambray_rebellion Escambray rebellion]]. Already heavily leaning towards the authoritarian left, Castro swung fully towards an alliance with the Soviet Union, inviting military forces in to act as a counterbalance to another attempt.attempt, and accepting heavy Soviet economic aid that his country eventually became totally dependent on. Things got hairy during the [[WorldWarIII Cuban Missile Crisis]], wherein the US learned that the Soviet Union had transferred some missiles to Cuba. After several days of nuclear brinkmanship and frantic diplomacy, the two superpowers avoided all-out war, leading to a relative thaw in US-USSR relationships. Castro was not present at the talks concerning the crisis, particularly because the Soviets were not sure if they could rely on him or allies like Che to keep their cool.

From 1966 to 1989 Cuba would aid the Angolan military in its military conflict, first against UsefulNotes/{{Portugal}}, then against an alliance of the rebel group UNITA and Apartheid South Africa in the 1960s. Cuba financed a number of revolutionary insurgencies around the world, including the Sandinistas and the South African rebel organizations such as the ANC. They also sent soldiers and other advisors to aid the Arab nations in their attempts to wipe out Israel in the Yom Kippur War and earlier War of Attrition, and unsuccessfully attempted to start insurgencies in Bolivia and Venezuela (even sending soldiers to the latter at two separate points). Che Guevara would die in this type of effort in Bolivia, most likely executed to avoid a trial. As a result of this Castro's reputation abroad is... [[FlameBait mixed]]. On one hand, he's considered a ruthless, opportunistic tyrant with a thirst for military adventurism that often was uglier than the US or even the Apartheid government cared to stomach. On the other, he is considered by some one of the founding fathers of Namibia, Angola, and racially equal South Africa (to the point where Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro were reported to be close friends).

The status quo in Cuba tottered along until the Soviet Union's collapse in the late 1980's. Cuba's enormous social spending and foreign adventurism had only ever been sustainable do to heavy Soviet aid, and they had no real systems in place to account for said aid stopping. This had an immediate and devastating effect on the Cuban economy since the USSR was both the main commercial partner of Cuba for decades, while decades and the source of nearly a quarter of its entire economy via handouts in the form of [[https://www.nytimes.com/1988/03/16/world/soviet-said-to-reduce-support-for-cuban-economy.html $4-5 billion in annual subsidies.]] Cuban GDP contracted by over 25% in less than three years, an in a time where rest of the developing world (including its neighbor, the Dominican Republic) was rapidly getting richer. Unlike many other socialist states after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Cuba and the U.S insisted on maintaining an embargo on did not normalize relations, and the economy, U.S. maintained its embargo, hoping the regime would collapse. In what is known as "the Special Period" (early 90s), Cuba's economy suffered immensely, with simple necessities like toilet paper and food becoming even harder to find. Cuba started to focus more on tourism, and enough trade was attracted from Europe to slow the descent into the CrapsackWorld-ness of some of its Caribbean neighbors. Cuba continues to suffer shortages of every day commodities, a situation not helped by the ongoing US embargo-fiercely maintained through every US Presidential Administration for the past fifty years-or the Castro government's refusal to display fiscal responsibility, failures to utilize the rest of the world market market, and unstinting hostility towards the US.

US. However, it did [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_economic_reforms partly recover]] from the hell of the 90s thanks to rolling back some socialist policies (for example, 11,600 positions in 32 government ministries were eliminated in 1993, Soviet-style farms were abandoned, and farmers were now legally allowed to sell the surplus from their yield), cutting social spending as a direct result of the latter (the government also raised the rates for public services such as telephone, transportation and electricity), and instituting minor liberal reforms, such as legalizing self-employment, decriminalizing the possession and circulation of foreign exchange, and introducing bonuses based on work performance. This drew Castro heavy internal criticism for having "abandoned the socialist revolution", prompting him to respond that he had not abandoned the goals of socialism, but that Cuba "has to be ready to conduct necessary changes to adapt to present world conditions." However, on a separate occasion he bitterly described his reforms as "concessions to the enemy."

Until his official retirement in 2008, Castro was one of the longest-serving leaders in world history who wasn't a monarch. His brother Raúl has taken over and he's no young 'un; what will happen after ''his'' passing is anyone's guess.
guess. So far, Raul's most notable domestic policies involve [[https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cuba-politics-castro-changes-explaine/explainer-the-state-of-raul-castros-economic-reforms-in-cuba-idUSKBN1HO0CL more liberalization]] of the Cuban economy, moving further away from the centrally planned economy (which even Fidel admitted in 2010 was not sustainable) it had previously possessed for decades. The heaviest changes occurred in 2011, effectively creating a new Cuban economic system; generally there was a decrease to government intervention and increase to foreign engagement, whether it be making it easy for foreigners to invest or easier for Cubans to travel to foreign countries. He even signed into law a bill creating a Special Economic Zone in the city of Mariel, where one hundred percent foreign ownership is permitted and foreign companies are able to transfer their profits abroad without paying the usual property taxes, sales taxes, or tariffs. Time will tell whether Raul Castro succeeds at his efforts, or whether his successor continues along the same path.

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* ''VideoGame/SplinterCell: Blacklist'' has a mission in Guantanamo Bay.

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**''VideoGame/TheGodfather'' had a level set right before Castro's revolution.


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* The original script for ''Film/ResidentEvilExtinction'', then called ''Afterlife'', featured a brief scene of American refugee boats attempting to seek refuge in Cuba but were sunk by the Cuban navy gunboats.


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* ''Film/TheFateOfTheFurious'': has a scene where the main characters have a drag race in Havana's streets.
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps'': The first mission of the campaign takes place in Havana during the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCity'' and ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCityStories'' has Cuban exiles in the city.


* ''Series/TheGeorgeLopezShow'' has Victor Palmero, George's Cuban-American father in law that often expresses his hatred of Castro due to him and his family having to flee the island during The Revolution. One episode had him, George, and family friend Ernesto picking up Vic's brother Octavio in the middle of the Florida Straits as it as the only way he could leave Cuba.

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* ''Series/TheGeorgeLopezShow'' has Victor Palmero, George's Cuban-American father in law that often expresses his hatred of Castro due to him and his family having to flee the island during The Revolution. One The episode ''Fishing Cubans'' had him, George, and family friend Ernesto picking up Vic's brother Octavio in the middle of the Florida Straits as it as the only way he could leave Cuba.


Cuba. A land where the music is good, the drink flows freely (at least where the tourists are) and the tourists come for both. Oh, and it's famous for its cigars and [[DirtyCommunists Communism]].

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Cuba.Cuba, the largest and most populated country in the Caribbean and fifth most populated country in the continent of North America after the United States, Mexico, Canada and Guatemala. A land where the music is good, the drink flows freely (at least where the tourists are) and the tourists come for both. Oh, and it's famous for its cigars and [[DirtyCommunists Communism]].


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If you like crumbling Spanish architecture, 1950s cars, lovely beaches uncluttered with [[HawaiianShirtedTourist stupid tourists]], ballet, and the best music Latin America has to offer, modern Cuba is the place to go-unless you're American, in which case, as of December 2014, you were only allowed to go under one of the [[https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/17/fact-sheet-charting-new-course-cuba 12 reasons designated by the US government]] and with other restrictions such as only being allowed to buy $400 worth of goods (of which only $100 can be tobacco and/or alcohol products). Many of these restrictions and exemptions have be tightened or removed respectively starting in June 2017 ([[https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Americans_in_Cuba see this Wikivoyage page for more details for Americans wishing to travel to Cuba]]). All other travel to Cuba by US citizens (such as pure tourism) remain a violation of the embargo and therefore a crime. Also notable is the country's human development (average healthcare, education, nutrition, life expectancy, et. al.) which throughout the last decades has been higher than those of the countries that surround it and Latin America in general. All this despite the crumbling infrastructure, the secret police, the embargo, and the continued repression of free speech and human right abuses against those elements deemed "counter-revolutionary".

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If you like crumbling Spanish architecture, 1950s cars, lovely beaches uncluttered with [[HawaiianShirtedTourist stupid tourists]], ballet, and the best music Latin America has to offer, modern Cuba is the place to go-unless you're American, in which case, as of December 2014, you were only allowed to go under one of the [[https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/17/fact-sheet-charting-new-course-cuba 12 reasons designated by the US government]] and with other restrictions such as only being allowed to buy $400 worth of goods (of which only $100 can be tobacco and/or alcohol products). Many of these restrictions and exemptions have be been tightened or removed respectively starting in June 2017 ([[https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Americans_in_Cuba see this Wikivoyage page for more details for Americans wishing to travel to Cuba]]). All other travel to Cuba by US citizens (such as pure tourism) remain a violation of the embargo and therefore a crime. Also notable is the country's human development (average healthcare, education, nutrition, life expectancy, et. al.) which throughout the last decades has been higher than those of the countries that surround it and Latin America in general. All this despite the crumbling infrastructure, the secret police, the embargo, and the continued repression of free speech and human right abuses against those elements deemed "counter-revolutionary".


* ''Series/TheGeorgeLopezShow'' has Victor Palmero, George's Cuban-American father in law that often expresses his hatred of Castro. One episode had him, George, and family friend Ernesto picking up Vic's brother Octavio in the middle of the Caribbean ocean as it as the only way he could leave Cuba.

to:

* ''Series/TheGeorgeLopezShow'' has Victor Palmero, George's Cuban-American father in law that often expresses his hatred of Castro. Castro due to him and his family having to flee the island during The Revolution. One episode had him, George, and family friend Ernesto picking up Vic's brother Octavio in the middle of the Caribbean ocean Florida Straits as it as the only way he could leave Cuba.


Since 2015, Cuba and the United States have restored diplomatic relations and there is increasing pressure to end the embargo, enraging much of the Cuban-American community. However, in 2017, many of these re-engagement policies have been rolled back, drawing cheers from the same parts of the Cuban American Community. [[note]]This is a generational issue among Cuban-Americans; people who fled the Castro regime or whose parents did are generally opposed to engagment, but younger Cuban-Americans tend to see the embargo as reflecting Cold War prejudices and favor full normalization.[[/note]] Whether or not this causes Cuba to become more democratic or collapse from pro-democracy pressure remains to be seen.

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Since 2015, Cuba and the United States have restored diplomatic relations and there is increasing pressure to end the embargo, enraging much of the Cuban-American community. However, in 2017, many of these re-engagement policies have been rolled back, drawing cheers from the same parts of the Cuban American Community. [[note]]This is a generational issue among Cuban-Americans; people who fled the Castro regime or whose parents did are generally opposed to engagment, engagement, but younger Cuban-Americans tend to see the embargo as reflecting Cold War prejudices and favor full normalization.[[/note]] Whether or not this causes Cuba to become more democratic or collapse from pro-democracy pressure remains to be seen.

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