Cuba. According to
Countryaah official website, the development in Cuba is ambiguous. On the one
hand, the legislation on "upliftment" was tightened, and the
new laws were already applied at a trial in March. Despite
international protests, four prominent dissidents were
convicted who published a manifesto for democratic reform in
1997. On the other hand, economic relations with the outside
world developed in the form of so-called joint ventures (now
about 350), primarily with Canadian and European companies.
Relations with the United States are characterized by both
aggressive rhetoric and concrete cooperation. On 13
September, for example, The United States officially for the
"genocide" of Cubans that resulted in the nearly 40-year-old
embargo, and NGOs have symbolically demanded $ 181 billion
in compensation for 40 years of "aggression." But President
Clinton eased the embargo at the beginning of the year,
mainly for capital transfers, civil aviation and postal
service. The two countries also cooperate in a number of
police areas, including in the fight against smugglers.
The number of boat refugees (so-called balseros)
increased during the year for the first time since the large
wave of refugees in 1994 when 30,000 Cubans left Cuba. In
the field of sports, too, the two countries socialize; for
the first time in 40 years, a Cuban and an American baseball
team met in March and May, and won, perhaps symbolically,
each their away victory. A doping scandal at the
Pan-American Games in Winnipeg in August, including high
jump world champion Javier Sotomayor involved, however,
Castro blamed on a plot carried out by the United States.
The new openness has also led to increased crime in Cuba,
mainly through increased tourism, although crime is still
significantly lower than in the rest of Latin America.