A Historic Moment
IWPR has been working with journalists and civil society groups in Cuba since 2011, helping them provide unbiased and accurate information about developments in the country while questioning authority and holding it to account. At a pivotal point for the relationship between Havana and Washington, we look at what Cubans hope - and fear – may be the consequences of the détente.
What Do Cubans Think of the Obama Visit?
Ordinary citizens have their own message for the US president.
On the streets of Havana, passers-by get a chance to talk about their hopes for Barack Obama's historic visit to Cuba.
Timeline: Cuba-US Relations
Revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro oust the Cuban dictator Fulgenico Batista and declare a revolutionary socialist state.
A commercial, economic and financial embargo by the US against Cuba begins.
US President Dwight D. Eisenhower breaks all diplomatic relations with Cuba.
The Bay of Pigs
Cuban exiles in coordination with the CIA launch a botched invasion that is defeated within two days.
The Cuban Missile Crisis
The US discovers Soviet nuclear missile bases on Cuban territory, leading to a 13-day stand-off, the closest the Cold War ever came to all-out nuclear conflict.
Congress approves the Cuban Adjustment Act, which gives work and residency rights to illegal immigrants from the island who reach US territory.
Jimmy Carter asks to open an office of US interests in Havana.
More than 125,000 Cubans flee the island for the US in just seven months, mostly heading for Miami.
The US’s Cuban Democracy Act asserts that sanctions will continue as long as the government refuses to take steps toward “democratisation and show more respect for human rights”.
The Helms Burton Act states that any non-American company that has dealings with Cuba can be subjected to legal reprisals and its directors banned from entering the US. This meant that international companies have to choose between trade with Cuba or with the US.
US president Bill Clinton authorises sending limited remittances and medical supplies to Cuba.
United States opens a high security prison at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for the “detention, treatment and trial of certain foreigners in the war against terrorism” despite Havana’s protests.
Fidel Castro retires from politics, leaving his brother Raul Castro in power.
Barack Obama allows unlimited family travel and remittances from the US to Cuba.
“It's time to let Cuban-Americans see their mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers.”