Circuit Court of Appeals

(CNN)Here’s some background about Cuba, a communist country located in the Sea, approximately 90 miles south of .

Area: 110,860 sq km (slightly smaller than Pennsylvania)
Population: 11,116,396 (July 2018 est.)
    n age: 41.8 years
    Ethnic Groups: white 64.1%, mixed 26.6%, black 9.3% (2012 est.)
    GDP (purchasing power parity): $137 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP per capita: $12,300 (2016 est.)
    Unemployment: 2.6% (2017 est., according to official figures. Unofficial estimate is double that number.)
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    Other Facts:
    Before the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, was receiving subsidies worth $4 billion-$6 billion a year.
    The pays approximately $4,085 a year to lease the 45 square miles that the Guantánamo Bay Naval Station occupies. has not accepted the payment since 1959.
    1492 – Explorer Christopher Columb lands on the island of and claims it for Spain. Spain controls the island until 1898, making it a hub for the slave trade and the export of sugar and coffee.
    1898 – The assists ns in winning independence from Spain during the Spanish-n War. The Treaty of Paris gives the temporary control of .
    1902 – gains independence from the .
    1903 – The new Republic of leases 45 square miles of land in Guantánamo Bay to the for construction of a naval station. Building on the naval station begins that same year.
    1952 – Former President Fulgencio Batista stages a coup with the support of the army, and assumes power.
    July 26, 1953 – Fidel Castro and approximately 150 others attack the Moncada barracks in Santiago de in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Batista regime.
    October 16, 1953 – Castro is sentenced to 15 years in prison.
    May 15, 1955 – Castro and his brother, Raul, are released as part of a general amnesty for political prisoners.
    December 2, 1956 – Eighty-two exiles land in , on a yacht named Granma. Most are killed imtely. The survivors, including the Castros, flee to the Sierra Maestra Mountains. During 1957-1958, they wage a guerrilla campaign from this base, which includes skirmishes with troops and burning sugar crops.
    January 1, 1959 – Batista is overthrown by Castro’s forces.
    1960 – nationalizes approximately $1 billion of -owned property on the island. In response, the places a trade embargo on .
    January 1961 – The and end diplomatic relations.
    April 1961 – The backs n exiles in an unsuccessful attempt to invade at the Bay of Pigs.
    October 1962 – The United States discovers that the Soviet Union is building missile installations in Cuba. The standoff ends with the Soviet Union withdrawing the missiles and the promising not to invade .
    1977 – The Interests Section in is opened.
    April-September 1980 allows anyone who wants to leave to freely depart from the port of Mariel. Approximately 124,000 n migrants enter the .
    October 1983 – troops invade the island of Grenada, after a group of officers aligned with stage a coup.
    1994 – The and sign an agreement ed to halt the flow of illegal aliens from to the .
    1996 – US President Bill Clinton signs the Helms-Burton Act into law, tightening sanctions against .
    September 1998 – Ten people are arrested in and charged with spying for the n . The criminal complaint alleges the eight men and two tried to infiltrate n exile groups and installations. Five of the defendants are later identied as n intelligence officers Ruben Campa (aka Fernando Gonzalez), Rene Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez, Luis Medina (aka Ramon Labanino) and Antonio Guerrero.
    1999 – Clinton eases restrictions to .
    November 1999 – Five-year-old Elian Gonzalez is found in the water between and , the only survivor of a group attempting to reach the by boat. A long ctody battle between Gonzalez’ father in and relatives in strains relations between and the . The standoff ends with federal agents forcibly removing the boy from his great-uncle’s home. Gonzalez and his father return to in June 2000.
    June 9, 2001- The five n agents are convicted of spying against the . Additionally, Gerardo Hernandez is convicted of contributing to the deaths of four members of the anti-Castro group Brothers to the Rescue, shot down by Cuban fighter jets in 1996.
    Augt 2005 – The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta overturns the spying convictions of the n Five. The ruling is reversed in Augt 2006.
    July 31, 2006 – A statement read on n TV announces that is undergoing intestinal surgery and has provisionally handed over power to his younger brother, Raul.
    February 19, 2008 – Due to ailing health, announces his resignation as president in a letter published in the middle of the night in the online version of ’s state-run paper, Granma.
    February 24, 2008 – is chosen by ’s National Assembly to be the country’s new president.
    December 2009 – n Alan Gross is jailed while working as a subcontractor on a Agency for International Development project aimed at spreading democracy. His actions are deemed illegal by n authorities. He is acced of trying to set up illegal internet connections on the island. Gross says he was trying to help connect the Jewish community to the internet and was not a threat to the .
    October 2011 – A member of the n Five, Rene Gonzalez, is released on probation after serving 13 years in prison.
    February 24, 2013 – is re-elected to a second five-year term. Later during a nationally televised speech, Castro announces that he will step down from power in 2018 when his term is over.
    February 2014 – An Five member Ruben Campa (aka Fernando Gonzalez) is released from prison after serving more than 15 years.
    December 17, 2014 – Cuba releases American contractor Alan Gross as a “humanitarian” after five years in prison. As part of a deal between the and , the releases three n intelligence agents convicted of in 2001; in return, frees an unidentied intelligence source who has been jailed in for more than 20 years.
    December 17, 2014 – US President Barack Obama announces plans to immediately begin discussions with Cuba to re-establish diplomatic relations, and that the will re-open an embassy in . The administration will also allow some and trade that had been banned under a decades-long embargo instated during the Kennedy administration.
    January 12, 2015 – Cuba has released a total of 53 political prisoners as part of its rapprochement deal with the , according to a official.
    January 15, 2015 – The Obama Administration announces details of the softened travel regulations: n ns visiting family, officials on trips, journalists on assignment and regular citizens visiting for educational, cultural, or religio reasons will no longer need permission first. ns will also be able to e credit cards, a prior restriction.
    January 22, 2015 – During a historic round of diplomatic talks between the and , the Cuban delegation expresses “serious concerns” about the United States and human rights, citing detentions in Guantanamo Bay, “police abuse” in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York, and racial and inequalities.
    April 11, 2015 – Ending a decades-long standstill in - relations, President meets for an hour during the Summit of the with Obama, the first time the two nations’ top leaders have sat down for substantive talks in more than 50 years.
    April 14, 2015 – Obama recommends that be removed from the ’s list of state sponsors of .
    May 29, 2015 – The United States officially removes Cuba from its list of countries that sponsor , setting the two nations up for a full renewal of diplomatic ties.
    July 1, 2015 – Obama announces that the is restoring diplomatic relations with and that the n embassy in will open during the late summer, with a visit from Secretary of State John Kerry.
    July 20, 2015 – and the officially re-establish diplomatic relations after 54 years.
    Augt 14, 2015 – The US Embassy officially re-opens in .
    December 17, 2015 – The State Department announces that the and have agreed to resume commercial air travel between the two countries for the first time in more than half a century. The Federal Administration mt ensure certain safety regulations are in place before s can resume, according to a State Department official.
    December 29, 2015 – Five Central American countries and Mexico reach an agreement that will help about 8,000 stranded Cuban immigrants make their way to the United States. Since the normalization of relations between the and , and the loosened requirements for outside of , the number of individuals trying to migrate to the has spiked.
    January 12, 2016 – The first group of n migrants leaves Costa Rica for El Salvador on their way to Mexico. Once in Mexico, the migrants are on their own to attempt passage to the .
    February 18, 2016 – Obama announces on Twitter that he will visit in March, becoming the first sitting president to visit in 88 years.
    March 15, 2016 – The Treasury Department announces a further loosening of restrictions, which includes allowing ers to engage in individual educational tours of . Effective on March 16, and the will resume postal service, nearly five decades after direct mail service was interrupted.
    March 20, 2016 – Obama arrives in Cuba, beginning a historic two-day visit to the island that includes meetings with Raul Castro and anti- dissidents.
    May 1, 2016 – For the first time in decades, a US cruise ship sets sail for Cuba as salsa mic plays and protesters picket nearby.
    Augt 31, 2016 – The first direct commercial from Fort Lauderdale, , to touches down in Santa Clara. JetBlue 387 is the first in more than 50 years to carry passengers to the island since Obama’s announcement to reengage with .
    November 30, 2016 – The ashes of former leader Fidel Castro are carried from the capital, , to Santiago, the birthplace of his revolution. It is the start of a journey that reverses the route Castro took across the island after seizing power in 1959.
    January 12, 2017 – Obama announces he is ending the longstanding “wet foot, dry foot” policy that allows ns who arrive in the without a visa to become permanent residents.
    September 29, 2017 – The US State Department orders families and nonessential personnel out of Cuba after a review of diplomats’ safety following a series of sonic attacks that began in November 2016.
    November 8, 2017 – The Treasury Department announces new sanctions and travel restrictions on to take effect November 9.
    March 19, 2018 – Miguel Díaz-Canel is officially named as the new leader of Cuba, one day after a secret vote in the country’s National Assembly. Díaz-Canel, 57, was selected by a vote of 603-1 as the unopposed candidate to replace . This is the first time in nearly six decades that is being led by a man not named Castro.
    July 23, 2018 – Cuba’s National Assembly endorses a draft of a new constitution, according to Granma, the official paper of ’s Communist Party. Changes include allowing a path to the legalization of same-sex marriage. The draft mt pass through a popular vote to become law.
      February 24, 2019 – Cubans vote in favor of approving a new constitution. The new document replaces the 1976 Soviet-era charter enacted under. It protects private property and foreign investment, and for the first time places two five-year terms on the office of the presidency. However, following a backlash by conservative religio groups, the backed off from language that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the constitution.
      June 4, 2019 – The US announces major new restrictions on US citizens traveling to Cuba, blocking the most common way ns are able to visit the island — through organized tour groups that license citizens to automatically — and banning cruise ships from stopping in the country.
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