Chronicle on Cuba - August
Domestic Affairs: Dissident organizations denounce harassment against dissidents and inhumane conditions in Cuban prisons. Cuba releases several political prisoners. Raul Castro signs a decree requiring punishment for public officials who violate labour rules. Vice President Carlos Lage squashes speculation that Cuba is heading toward Chinese-style reforms of its economy. Cuba will not be sending a boxing team to the world championships in Chicago. The Christian Liberation Movement delivers a petition to Cuba's parliament abolishing and replacing the country's electoral law.
Economy: The Venezuelan Petroleum Corporation and Cuban CUPET start the first project for offshore exploration in Cuba. Iran increases its trade with Cuba. Russia delivers the first of three jet planes to Cuba. Trade already underway between Venezuela and Cuba has reached more than $1.8 billion. Eastern Cuba is damaged by sea penetration caused by the passing of hurricane Dean.
Exile Community: Cuban-American business leaders call for the creation of a 300 million dollar fund to help build private enterprise in Cuba. Members of Democracy Movement demonstrate in support of Cubans on a hunger strike at the Guantanamo Naval Base. Max Lesnick receives a distinction by the Cuban Journalists Union in Havana. Rumours about Fidel Castro’s death circulate in Miami.
Foreign Affairs: The number of illegal Cuban immigrants arriving in Mexico increases. Brazil’s Federal police investigate the case of two Cuban boxers who absconded from their team during the Pan-American Games. Cuba sends to Peru two planes with tent hospitals and medical staff to aid the victims of the earthquake. Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque participates in the Third Forum for East Asia Latin America Cooperation meeting in Brasilia and meets with Brazil’s president. The Cuban government brands Hungary an "imperial accomplice" of Washington for granting asylum to a group of Cubans on a hunger strike at the Guantanamo Naval Base. Newspaper reports talk about a private visit Raul Castro would have paid to Italy.
Security: Cuba has been upgrading its military arsenal since Fidel Castro fell ill.
Terrorism: The Colombian government and the ELN began another round of talks in Havana.
US-Cuba Relations: The US Coast Guard informs of Cuban migrants interdicted close to the Florida coast. Cuba's Foreign Ministry protests the US State Department's acknowledgment it will not meet this fiscal year's minimum quota of 20,000 visas for Cubans who want to migrate. A Miami courtroom hears the case of a father seeking to take his daughter back to Cuba. Fidel Castro publishes reflections on the history of US-Cuba relations and US presidential candidates. Cubans held at Guantanamo Naval Base end a hunger strike after learning that they would receive visas to go to the US or to a third country. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama calls on the US government to end the travel and money restrictions imposed in 2004.