Gross, an American contractor, has served a year sentence since for distributing satellite telephone equipment in Cuba. His case has dampened President Obama's efforts to improve relations between the United States and Cuba. The three-day visit came after years of tension between the church and the Cuban government. During his visit, Pope Benedict XVI, pushing for Cuba toward freedom, said, "I am convinced that Cuba, at this moment of particular importance in its history, is already looking to the future, and thus is striving to renew and broaden its horizons.
Around , attended the Mass in Santiago de Cuba, including people from as far as Miami.
However, many attendees said they were pressured to attend by employers or members of the Communist Party. One attendee was removed by security after he started shouting negative comments about the government. On October 16, , the government announced that in early Cubans would no longer be required to have an exit visa when leaving the country. The new policy states that as of January 13, , Cubans could leave the country on vacations or forever.
They would only need a valid passport and a visa from the country of their destination. It also stated that Cubans could stay abroad longer, up to two years before they lose their citizenship and benefits. However, the new policy also stated that Cubans could be stopped from leaving the country for "defense and national security" reasons.
This part of the new law suggested that while Castro and the Cuban government were answering the demands for change, they were also maintaining tight control of political dissidents. The Cuban government freed U. Gross had been sentenced to 15 years in prison in after his effort to create a way to communicate outside of the Cuban government's control. The government cited humanitarian grounds as the reason for Gross' release.
In response to the prisoner release, U.
President Barack Obama announced that the U. There hasn't been any diplomatic relations between the U. The prisoner release was part of a deal negotiated in secret over 18 months. Canada hosted most of the talks that led to the deal. Pope Francis also hosted a meeting at the Vatican to help with negotiations between the two countries. Talks began in early between the two countries over how to restore diplomatic relations after five decades. Both sides made demands ahead of the talks. Cuba asked the U.
A second round of talks was scheduled for late Feb. Meanwhile, reaction to the resumed relations with the U. Some praised the move while others were skeptical. With diplomatic relations restored, the ban for Americans traveling to Cuba was lifted. Before Dec. State Department. After Dec. Internet access, an embassy, and the use of credit cards were soon available for the first time to assist Americans while in Cuba.
Also, the U.
It was the first time the countries' leaders held a face-to-face meeting in more than 50 years. According to news reports, Obama and Castro vowed to open embassies in both countries. In another step toward resuming full diplomatic relations, the U. Of the decision, U. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke says in a statement, "While the United States has significant concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba's policies and actions, these fall outside the criteria relevant to the rescission of a state sponsor of terrorism designation.
Cuba and the U. Embassy in Havana was opened later that month. The reestablishment of embassies was another major step in rebuilding relations between the two countries.
In early Feb. The last and only president to visit Cuba was Calvin Coolidge in Obama's historic visit occurred in March. Obama and Cuban president Raul Castro appeared at a news conference together at the Revolutionary Palace. While both were cordial, both presidents challenged the policies of each other's country. While the rationale for intervention was a facade, the United States did succeed in transforming a marginal education system.
Cuba's educational system included primary and private schools.
About 60 percent of the population was illiterate, and only one percent of the literate population had attained higher levels of education. Only about 90, out of , Cuban children attended school.
In the five largest cities, about 30 percent of children attended school—elsewhere, only 11 percent attended Thomas An overarching administrative structure was established when U. It included a Commissioner of Education, a Board of Superintendents comprised of a general and provincial superintendents for each province , and local education districts with separate school boards Turosienski The law also mandated schooling for children aged 6 to Governor General Leonard Wood, who succeeded Brooke, initiated programmatic reform. Wood augmented Brooke's efforts by giving substance to the Spanish reforms—creating a nationwide system of primary schools, training teachers, and instituting changes identified by dissidents.
He reorganized secondary and vocational schools and promoted practical knowledge in universities by introducing engineering and architecture. Seeking to infuse attributes of the American educational system into Cuba, Wood hired Cuban educators and administrators versed in the U. Access to education increased across racial and class lines, and attendance rose—a seeming realization of the dissidents' goals. Despite these educational advances, general dissatisfaction with the government led to instability and, in , the United States dispatched additional personnel to establish order.
Among those dispatched was Judge Charles Magoon who directed efforts in Cuba until Magoon's educational accomplishments were "less sensational than Wood's, but in some ways more effective" Thomas Sharp penalties were established for violations of mandatory education; school-age children found in the street during school hours were arrested, and factory owners employing child laborers were fined.
In , the school enrollment was reported to be , pupils in the public system and 15, pupils in the private system. However, problems remained as Magoon ignored complaints of corruption and nepotism in the educational system.
Batista Period: Under dictator Fulgencio Batista in the s, roughly 50 percent of the school-aged population did not attend school, and expenditures were concentrated in urban areas to the exclusion of rural provinces MacDonald The average child progressed only to the second grade, and only 17 percent of students attended high school. More than 1,, people—half the adult population—were illiterate.
However in the late 18thcentury, following the slave revolt of Haiti, a large influx of French men immigrated to Cuba. During the 19th and 20th centuries, there were other Europeans, including British, German, and Italians, as well as Americans migrating to Cuba. But the Spanish migration was the largest by far.
The island of Cuba was inhabited by various Mesoamerican cultures prior to the arrival of the .. In this context, black revolts in Cuba increased, and were put down with mass executions. One of the most significant was the Conspiración de La. History of Cuba at a glance. “yellow” press after the USS Maine sank in Havana Harbor on February 15 as the result of an explosion of undetermined origin.
In the early part of the 19th century Cuba witnessed the arrival of many Catalans as laborers. In the middle of the century the influx of Gallegos began, and proved to be the largest single group of Iberians to Cuba, and the largest exodus of Galicians to the New World.
Later many others from Asturias, Cantabria, and the Basque lands also emigrated to Cuba, as well as continued immigration from Canarians and Galicians. A much smaller percent of Jewish and Middle-Eastern especially Lebanese immigrants also immigrated to Cuba in the 20th century. AfroCubans are found throughout the island, but their highest concentration is in the eastern part known as Oriente. These are Cubans who mostly have sub-Saharan ancestry.
Africans were brought to Cuba as slaves soon after the initial colonization, and following the demise ofthe indigenous population. They were brought from various tribes of western African, such as the Yoruba, Carabali, Mandinga, Congo, Igbo, and Fula, amongst others, as well as from south east Africa such as Madagascar and Mozambique. The number of slaves dramatically increased in the 19th centuryas the importance of sugarcane production rose in Cuba.