Links to other sites on the Web: Back to the 2002-2003 Team page
Defined by the Cuban constitution signed in 1992 Cuba is a unitary socialist republic. Sovereignty and power is exercised by a group of bodies, mostly the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) and the National Assembly of People’s Power; however supreme power rests in the hand of the president ,obviously. Fidel Castro, who is chief of state, head of government, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, president of the Council of State of the National Assembly of People’s Power and commander in chief of the armed forces controls not only national affair, but every aspect of a Cuban’s life. Havana is the capital of Cuba.
Even though the Communist Party of Cuba chooses all candidates for the National Assembly of People’s Power, voting is still practiced. The National Assembly of People’s Power has 589 deputies elected for five-year terms. All citizens aged 16 or over are entitled to vote. The executive power lies in the hand of the Council of Ministers. Fidel Castro is president of both the two executive and legislative assemblies.
As for political parties there is only one sole political party which oppresses all others—it is the Communist Party of Cuba and Fidel Castro has been its leader since 1965. In conclusion Cuba’s political structure is a totalitarian one; Fidel Castro is a dictator holding all supreme positions.
The soil of Cuba is fertile and a wide range of crops is grown. About one quarter of the land is covered with forests of pine and mahogany. The country has significant mineral reserves, including about 10 per cent of the world’s known nickel deposits. There are also deposits of chromate, copper, iron, manganese, gold, silver, sulfur, cobalt, pyrites, gypsum, asbestos, oil, salt, sand, clay, and limestone. Crude oil deposits on the northern coast are exploited commercially. Even with all these resources the US embargo on Cuba is still affecting Cuba dramatically, especially after aid from the former USSR stopped.
Cuba is a multiracial society with a population of mainly Spanish and African origins, although Spanish is the official language. Mulattos(people with mixed descents) make up 51% of the Cuban people while Whites are 37%, Blacks comprise 11%, and Asians the remaining 1%.
The largest organized religion is the Roman Catholic Church. Afro-Cuban religions, a blend of native African religions, and Roman Catholicism are widely practiced in Cuba. Officially, Cuba has been an atheist state for most of the Castro era. In 1962, the government of Fidel Castro seized and shut down more than 400 Catholic schools, charging that they spread dangerous beliefs among the people. In 1991, however, the Communist Party lifted its prohibition against religious believers seeking membership, and a year later the constitution was amended to characterize the state as secular instead of atheist.
Fortunately since the people get along there is no racism or discrimination towards indigenous people and they have their rights even though there are very few indigenous people since most of them have intermarried.
A huge problem that Cuba is facing is emigration to the US, which is increasing due to Cuba’s reduction of restrictions for emigration. Cuba is doing this as a consequence for the US who is failing to live up to its 1984 agreement to issue 20,000 visas a year to Cubans, giving only 12,000.
Again it is no surprise that Fidel Castro is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Under Castro, Cuba became a highly militarized society. From 1975 until the late 1980s, massive Soviet military assistance enabled Cuba to upgrade its military capabilities and project power abroad. The tons of Soviet military deliveries to Cuba throughout most of the 1980s exceeded deliveries in any year since the military build-up during the 1962 missile crisis. In 1990, Cuba's air force, with about 150 Soviet-supplied fighters was probably the best equipped in Latin America. In 1994, Cuba's armed forces were estimated to have 235,000 active duty personnel.
However Cuban military power was sharply reduced after the loss of Soviet subsidies. Today, the Revolutionary Armed Forces number about 60,000 regular troops. The navy and air force are only a fraction of their former size. The country's two military organizations, the Territorial Militia Troops and the Youth Labor Army, have a reduced training capability. The government continues, however, to maintain strong state security, under the Ministry of Interior, to repress rebellion within Cuba.
Cuba is located in the Caribbean Sea, some 145 km (90 mi) south of Florida in the United States, comprising two main islands, Cuba and Juventud Island, and more than 1,600 small coral cays and tiny islands. Cuba commands the two entrances to the Gulf of Mexico to the west: the Straits of Florida and the Yucatan Channel. On the east, the republic is separated from the island of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) by the Windward Passage; Jamaica lies to the south, the Bahamas to the north-east, and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico to the west, across the Yucatan Channel. The republic has a total land area of 110,860 sq. km (42,803 sq. MI), of which almost 95 per cent is accounted for by the island of Cuba. The largest island in the Caribbean and the most westerly of the Greater Antilles group, Cuba is 110,860 sq. km (42,803 sq. MI) in area, and long and narrow in shape.
The coast of Cuba is extremely irregular and is indented by gulfs and bays. Most of the northern coast is protected by reefs and cays. Notable harbors are those of Havana, Cardenas, Bahaa Honda, Matanzas, and Nuevitas on the northern coast, and Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, and Cienfuegos on the southern and eastern coasts.
Views of World Problems:
Although Cuba is not preoccupied or concerned of modern world problems, unless they had to do with the promotion of hate towards the US., Cuba was a very active country in the 1970s and 1980s in the hope of spreading communism and socialism. Cuba expanded its military presence abroad, spending millions of dollars in exporting revolutions. Deployments of troops reached 50,000 troops in Angola, 24,000 in Ethiopia, 1,500 in Nicaragua, and hundreds more elsewhere. Cuban forces played a key role in Ethiopia's war against Somalia and remained there in substantial numbers of garrison force for a decade. Though since the end of Soviet support, Cuba appears to have largely abandoned support for guerrilla movements and its involvement in regional politics in Latin America and Africa, though it maintains relations with several guerrilla and terrorist groups and provides refuge for some of their members in Cuba .
Cuba has SOME allies such as China, Russia, North Korea and many more, but Cuba has enemies too, more precisely one enemy. When Fidel Castro freed the people form the capitalistic government that the US had installed in Cuba, the US-Cuban relations were changed forever. Cubans were tired of the U.S.'s intervention in Cuban affairs before the revolution so they regarded Castro as a savior and a hero. Even though most Cubans resent Fidel Castro because of his oppression and the fact that they are still as poor, if not poorer then before the revolution, there are people who still admire him. Cuba grew to hate the US because of the embargo. The embargo affected the Cuban people so much that in the Bay of Pig’s Invasion the 1,200 solders captured by Cuba were given to the US in return for food and medicine.
After the discovery of Soviet Missile installations in Cuba things got very hostile, US. President John Kennedy even imposed a naval blockade to prevent further Soviet arms shipments reaching the island.
US-Cuban relations have remained hostile ever since the United States has continued to support Cuban exiles anti-Castro move. It has also maintained its trade embargo and tried to isolate Cuba. In 1962 Cuba was expelled from the Organization of American States (OAS). It was accused of attempting to foment rebellions in Venezuela, Gatemala, Bolivia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Grenada.
In 1992 US. president George Bush approved the Cuban Democracy Act, which strengthened the trade embargo by making it even more strict and tight. This brought opposition from Canada and many European countries and the UN General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution calling for an end to the embargo.
Cuba is a member of the ICC, Interpol, NAM, OAS (excluded from formal participation since 1962), UN, WHO, and the WTO.
The Cuban Government continues to use socialist principles in organizing its state-controlled economy. Most of the means of production are owned and run by the government and, according to Cuban Government statistics, about 75% of the labor force is employed by the state. The actual figure is closer to 90%, with the only private employment consisting of some 200,000 private farmers and some 100,000 "cuentapropistas," or private business owners.
The Cuban economy is still recovering from a decline in gross domestic product of at least 35% between 1989 and 1993 due to the loss of Soviet support. To stop the economic crisis, in 1993 and 1994 the government introduced a few market-oriented reforms, including opening to tourism, allowing foreign investment, legalizing the dollar, and authorizing self-employment for some 150 occupations. These measures resulted in modest economic growth.
Cuba’s principal exports are sugar, which normally accounts for almost 75 per cent of export earnings, minerals, citrus fruit, tobacco, fish, and livestock. Its principal imports are oil and oil products, food, machinery, and chemicals. Although these have not changed much, there has been a dramatic shift in Cuba’s main markets. On the eve of its dissolution, the USSR accounted for more than 80 per cent of Cuba’s exports and 66 per cent of its imports. Today, Russia is an important trading partner still, but other countries, notably Canada, Spain, and Mexico, have taken over as Cuba’s main trading partners. Trade with Latin America has been an important growth area, rising from 7 per cent of Cuba’s foreign trade in 1990 to 20 per cent in 1994.
Spanish settlers established the raising of cattle, sugarcane, and tobacco as Cuba's primary economic pursuits. As the native Indian population died out, African slaves were imported to work the ranches and plantations. Slavery was abolished in 1886.
Cuba was the last major Spanish colony to gain independence, following a 50-year struggle begun in 1850. Jose Marti, Cuba's national hero, began the final push for independence in 1895. In 1898, after the USS Maine sunk in Havana Harbor on February 15 due to an explosion of undetermined origin, the United States entered the conflict. In December of that year Spain relinquished control of Cuba to the United States with the Treaty of Paris. On May 20, 1902, the United States granted Cuba its independence but retained the right to intervene to preserve Cuban independence and stability under the Platt Amendment. In 1934, the amendment was repealed, and the United States and Cuba reaffirmed the 1903 agreement that leased the Guantanamo Bay naval base to the United States.
Fidel Castro led a rebel army to victory in 1959, his iron rule has held the country together since. Cuba's Communist revolution, with Soviet support, was exported throughout Latin America and Africa during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. The country is now slowly recovering from a severe economic recession that occurred in 1990, following the withdrawal of former Soviet support, worth $4 billion to $6 billion annually. Havana has its difficulties as the result of the US embargo in place since 1961.
1. Prevention and spread of the deadly diseases of Ebola, Marburg Virus, and Smallpox, including international scientific cooperation to expedite the search for vaccines and measures to insure the worldwide availability of affordable patent medications, and address the social and economic costs of epidemic breakouts.
The Cuban people and the Cuban nation have long been sufferers of many types of deadly diseases, the greatest disease that Cubans suffer from is the dengue deadly disease, in fact 2002 witnessed the worst dengue epidemic in the history of Cuba.
This is only one of the myriad of great tragedies that the US has beset on Cuba, if it was not for the embargo Cuba could heal its people, Cuba could be rid of not only dengue but many different diseases that could be destroyed in an efficient and cheap way.
Scientists have discovered a cure for AIDS and for types of cancer, but has anyone ever asked why people never have these cures? These cures are sold very expensive though they can be cheaply made. It is all because of the evil of capitalism and the evil of the US. Why shouldn’t the whole world be rid of AIDS? Or Ebola? Because a group of people want to become rich?? How is this liberty? How is this democracy? In the US you have the right to speak but not the right to be alive? To be cured? This is only one of the many contradictions in the US's system of government.
Cuba has lost hope in the US, and now it is asking the UN, urging the UN to put pressure on all nations to stop this capitalistic evil and to start thinking of the whole community of our world.
2. Human rights and welfare of indigenous peoples, including promoting their status within countries and building a network to assure that human rights are not abridged and cultural contributions are acknowledged.
Cuba, as a communist nation believes strongly that every human has rights. Even though our nation is not plagued by this issue since there aren't many indigenous groups in Cuba our great leader Fidel Castro is very concerned with this issue.
President Fidel Castro talked to representatives of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador ( CONAIE ) as part of his visit to ecuadpr. Fidel asked about the educational level among the indigenous communities, and told them about his wish to try to know them and learn about their problems.He also dealt with aspects of the social programs that Cuba is implementing in the areas of education and public health, despite the criminal US blockade against the island nation.
3. ACTION PAPER: Review of modern sanctuary and asylum methods as a means of safeguarding lives.
Defines medical breakthrough as a medical drug, vaccine or therapy that rid victims of deadly disease,
Deeply concerned that according to BBC news and the WTO the United States has blocked an international agreement to allow poor countries to buy cheap drugs meaning millions of poor people will still not have access to medicines for diseases such as HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis because US negotiators say the deal would allow too many drugs patents to be ignored,
Strongly Condemns the United States for blocking the international agreement to allow poor countries to buy cheap drugs even though 143 of the 144 members of the WTO were strong advocates of the agreements,
1. Advises the World Court to disregard all copyright violations to do with medical breakthroughs;
2. Urge all nations to set regulations that will: A. Make all governmental medical research sectors send annual reports of their discoveries to the UN; B. Force all private medical research sectors to send annual reports of their discoveries to the UN; C. Abolish all patenting and/or copyrighting of medical breakthroughs; D. Discourage and even set consequences for research centers that ask to patent a medical breakthrough;
3. Resolves the UN formation of the UNOPD (the United Nations Organization of Prevention of Disease) which will be made up of 30 scientists of different varieties ( microbiologists, doctors ,bioengineers, genetic engineers): A. Collect all annual reports from UN member nations and: B. Validate the report's discoveries; C. Point out any discovery that holds significant and can be considered a medical breakthrough; D. Have a monthly conference of all its scientists that will: 1. Reaffirm the significance of a discovery; 2. Assign different groups of scientists to different discoveries; 3. Have each group come up with a cheap way to manufacture a medical breakthrough;
4. Further Resolves that the UNOPD's staff will write monthly reports on any type of significant achievement they have a accomplished: A. They will present it to the General Assembly; B. They will send back the improved reports to the research center that sent it to them;
5. Declares that the General Assembly will debate the following after the UNOPD presents its report; A. Whether the UN is capable of distribute the cure; B. The most efficient way of distribution;
6. Proclaims that if by any chance a nation is discovered to be holding back research from the UNOPD it will be put in a list that will be open to the public;
7. Further Resolves that any nation on that list: A. Will not be allowed to attend the General Assembly when the UNOPD is presenting a report; B. Will not be given any medical help if a breakthrough has been distributed;
8. Further Declares that if a country on the list gives the information it had refused to give in the past, will be removed from the list.