Cuba 2002

In 2002, Cuba was a Caribbean island nation with a population of over 11 million people. According to computerannals, it was led by President Fidel Castro and the Cuban National Assembly. The economy was largely based on agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, with the service sector growing rapidly in recent years. In addition to services, Cuba had begun to diversify its economy in recent years and had experienced some growth in the energy sector. Education was highly valued in Cuba and primary school enrollment had increased significantly since the Cuban Revolution of 1959. Healthcare services were provided by both public and private institutions, though access to healthcare remained limited due to lack of infrastructure and resources. Despite its progress since 1959, poverty remained a major issue for many Cubans with over 25 percent living below the poverty line. Corruption and mismanagement were also an issue as the government struggled to combat these issues with limited resources. Additionally, Cuba faced security threats from neighboring countries such as Haiti, Jamaica, The Dominican Republic and The United States of America.

Yearbook 2002

Cuba. Former US President Jimmy Carter, as a representative of the Carter Center, made a five-day visit to Cuba in May to explore the potential for diminished tension between the two countries. He was allowed to give a live television talk in which he, among other things, urged the authorities to grant permission to the Red Cross and the UN human rights body to investigate the conditions in the country’s prisons and the treatment of the so-called prisoners of conscience.

Already in April, the UN human rights body had criticized in a resolution the lack of respect for human rights in Cuba. Carter was also allowed to speak to the so-called Varela project leader Oswaldo Payá, a dissident who, through a name-gathering campaign, tries to bring about constitutional changes to freedom of expression, political amnesty, the right to private enterprise and direct elections to public office.

In July, the National Assembly approved a constitutional extension declaring socialism unchangeable in Cuba – a response to US President George W. Bush’s statement in May on “the axis of evil,” which included Cuba with North Korea, Iran and Iraq.

The former leader of the US Environmental Party, Ralph Nader, also visited Cuba during the year and called for a marathon at the University of Havana to end the embargo on Cuba.

On November 12, the UN General Assembly voted 173 against 3 for not respecting the US embargo on Cuba. According to Countryaah website, national day of Cuba is every October 10. The United States, for its part, calls for democratic elections in Cuba for the lifting of the embargo. However, raising the embargo would, according to US sources, bring great economic benefits to the United States.

Cuba Border Countries Map

1953 Starts for the Cuban Revolution

On July 26, 1953, Fidel organized Castroa 135-member resistance group in an attack on the Moncada military base in Santiago, eastern Cuba. The attack was fought back, many killed and the survivors taken prisoner. The lawsuit against the move gave Castro propaganda for the revolution, and his famous defense speech, “History Will Clear Me” became a political program for “26. the July Movement ”(M-26), which until the Revolution was reformist and nationalist – not socialist. Castro was granted amnesty after two years in captivity, traveled to Mexico, and organized a new revolutionary group returning to Cuba by boat “Granma”, and launched guerrilla combat in the Sierra Maestra Mountains in the easternmost part of the country. The resistance struggle spread across the country, and during 1958 the guerrilla won a number of crucial military victories over the otherwise superior Batista forces. Batista was forced to flee the country on New Year’s Eve 1958-59, while guerilla forces led byErnesto “Che” Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos approached Habana. In just 2 years, Castro’s July 26 movement had demoralized Batista’s corrupt army.

Revolution movement

The Communist Party (PSP), which even participated in the government during Batista’s first regime (1938-44), stood in opposition to Batista from 1952, but clearly opposed armed resistance. Only in early 1958 did the party contact the guerrillas in Sierra Maestra. The first time after the revolution there was a strong contradiction between PSP and «26. the July Movement ‘, which had a very complex class base – peasants, workers, and petty citizens. But gradually the social reformist became ’26. July Movement »radicalized, and in 1961 Castro said its ideology was Marxist-Leninist. The reason for the radicalization was not least that the class contradictions were still sharpened by the structural changes brought about by the revolution. The same year an attempt was made to merge PSP and «26. July Movement ”, in the Organizaciones Revolucionarias Integradas (ORI, The All-Revolutionary Organizations), but this project was initially marked by strong contradictions. Among other things, Castro accused the PSP of abusing ORI to strengthen its position. In 1962, a joint party was formed, the Partido Unido de la Revolución Socialista (PURSC, the Unity Party of the Socialist Revolution), which in 1965 was reorganized into the Cuban Communist Party (PCC), with Castro as its first secretary.

Cuba Country Overview

to Cuba require a tourist card, which can be obtained through us for € 55 per person. The control part of the tourist card must be carefully kept with the flight tickets and passport throughout the trip. NOTE! The passport must be valid for at least 3 months after the trip.

Everyone participating in the trip must have a valid travel insurance that covers medical expenses in the event of illness or other similar need. Please check the validity of your own insurance and the terms and conditions of the insurance cancellation cover.

Please pay attention to the special nature of your trip and check the coverage of the insurance in that respect as well. In many locations, the insurance must also be valid when moving at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters, in which case it also covers mountain sickness.

Many hiking or diving trips require more extensive insurance, which covers, for example, diving or moving on a glacier. Please check the contents of your insurance with your insurance company.

Vaccinations and health
Please check the validity of the vaccines included in the national vaccination program. In addition, hepatitis A and B vaccines as well as cholera and typhoid vaccines are recommended at discretion. Please always check the vaccination requirements at your health center or the tourist clinic’s vaccination advice
It is advisable to book a mosquito repellent with you on the trip.

Currency: Cuba has two currencies, the Cuban Peso (CUP) and the Convertible Peso for Tourists (CUC). Cuban currency cannot be exchanged outside Cuba. It is most practical to book cash clubs that can be exchanged for peso convertibles at currency exchange offices (Casas de cambio), banks and hotels. Currency exchange points can be found in the largest cities, in villages and small towns money exchange is best done in banks and hotels. Havana Airport also has a currency exchange. Cash is the most efficient payment method in Cuba, as most restaurants and small shops, for example, do not allow credit card payments.

When leaving Havana airport, it is a good idea to exchange any larger amount of cash left before moving to passport control; after passport control, there is no longer a currency exchange point. It is also worth noting that not all currencies are always available at the airport’s currency exchange point, sometimes eg the euro may run out and in this case the pesos may be exchanged for another currency at its discretion. After the security check, on the international side, the peso convertible is used as a means of payment in the café and small gift purchases can be made at the pesos, but in the Tax free store, pesos are not used as a means of payment. In a tax free store, you can pay in euros, for example.

Havana and major cities and tourist destinations have banks and ATMs that accept European Visa and Visa Debit-Credit cards. The MasterCard card does not always work at ATMs, but you can usually withdraw money from banks (Banco Metropolitano) with a MasterCard. ATMs can withdraw peso convertible currency. The withdrawal commission is higher than normal abroad. There is also often an additional charge when paying with credit cards. We do not recommend traveler’s checks, as their exchange rate is very low and banks may have to queue for a long time.

NOTE! American or U.S. issued credit cards and traveler’s checks are not valid in Cuba.

Even the smallest tip is always welcome in a low-wage Cuba. Tips can be left on good service for waiters and hotel staff, for example. We recommend leaving a tip of 2-3 cuc / day for the local guide and 2-3 cuc / day for the driver.

Time difference
The time difference between Cuba and Finland is -7 hours.

Electricity In
Cuba, electricity is generally 110 V and you also need an American-style adapter. 220 V is available in some hotels. Power outages in Cuba are common, so it’s a good idea to book a flashlight with you on the trip.

Mobile phones
Cuba area code is +53.
Check the functionality of your subscription with your mobile operator.

The climate of
The Cuban winter and at the same time the driest season is from November to April. In this case, the average daily temperature is 25 degrees. The wetter and warmer season runs from May to October, when daytime temperatures are slightly higher. Most rains in September-October, often showers are only short-lived. At other times of the year, these so-called tropical showers are possible. The sea water temperature is 24-28 degrees all year round.

Seasons The high season in Cuba runs from October to April, with the peak season at Christmas and New Year. The spring season in May-June is a very good time to travel due to the weather, and many accommodations offer lower season rates at that time. The hurricane season officially extends from late summer to early fall, roughly from July to October. The probability of storms is highest in August-October. However, due to the holiday season in Central and Southern Europe, August is a season with higher prices in many places.

Religion: The official main religion in Cuba is Catholicism. However, the Afro-Cuban Santeria religion is in some ways a part of the daily life of every Cuban family.

Exit fee
None. The Cuban exit fee was abolished in spring 2015.

Internet access
Most hotels, casa particulars, restaurants and cafes have Wi-Fi access.

In order to log in to wifi, you must purchase an internet card. The card costs 1 CUC / hour and these are widely sold in hotels and kiosks. The section of the card is scratched, below which the ID that appears when logging in to the Wi-Fi network appears.

Note! If you buy a card from a hotel, please check that this also works on non-hotel wifi.

Cuba is one of the safest countries in Latin America and Havana is one of the safest cities in the world with more than two million residents. However, general caution within common sense is desirable throughout the journey. Current security warnings for all countries can be found on the Foreign Ministry’s website.