November 27, 2010
• 1959: In January, Fidel Castro forces out President Fulgencio Batista.
In February, Castro becomes prime minister of Cuba.
• 1959: Castro signs the Agrarian Reform Act in May, banning foreigners
from owning land.
• 1960: In March, US President Dwight Eisenhower orders the CIA to train
Cuban exiles for an invasion of Cuba.
• 1960: Cuba nationalizes US business assets in July.
• 1960: In October, US imposes embargo prohibiting all exports to Cuba
except food and medical supplies. (Full embargo starts 1961.)
• 1961: Bay of Pigs invasion by Cuban exile force is botched, a failure
blamed on the Kennedy administration.
• 1962: Cuban Missile Crisis and near nuclear conflict between the US
and Soviet Union averted.
• 1968: Castro nationalizes private businesses, ending small-business
• 1980: The Cuban government grants a one-time exodus, and 125,000
Cubans flee to the US in the Mariel Boat Lift.
• 1993: After dissolution of Soviet Union, Cuba announces it will permit
a degree of private ownership in the "special period."
• 1996: US passes the Helms-Burton Act, extending the embargo against
Cuba to foreign companies.
• 2003: In the "Black Spring" roundup, the Cuban government arrests 75
writers and dissidents, giving rise to the dissident women's group
Ladies in White.
• 2006: Raúl Castro temporarily takes over as president of Cuba after
his brother falls ill. He permanently takes over in 2008.
• 2008: Raúl Castro's administration relaxes restrictions on land
available to private farmers. He had earlier relaxed bans on cellphones
and other electronics.
• 2010: Dissident Orlando Tamayo dies in February after a hunger strike,
an event that many say prompted the biggest political prisoner release
in a decade in the summer of 2010.
• 2010: In September, the Cuban government announces layoffs of half a
million employees, the biggest economic overhaul since 1959.