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Yearbook 2012

Cuba. On July 22, the leader of the Christian Democratic opposition movement MLC (Movimiento Cristiano Liberación), Oswaldo Payá, died in a car accident. Also in the car was the Swedish Christian Democratic Youth League leader Aron Modig, who survived the crash. For a long time, it was speculated from abroad that the accident was a political attack by the Cuban government on Payá. The government, for its part, claimed that Modig was in Cuba to help with the funding of the MLC and the creation of a Christian youth organization. Both speculations were demented by all parties involved, including: Courageous insisted that the car crash was really an accident.

2012 Cuba

According to countryaah, a major topic of debate at the beginning of the year was the sixth Inter-American Summit in Cartagena, Colombia, in April, to which Cuba is not normally invited and which, through a story of irony, was held the same week as the US embargo on Cuba turned 50 years. No final document from the meeting was ever issued, mainly because all countries except the US and Canada wanted to include Cuba at the next summit, which will be held in Panama 2015.

Pope Benedict XVI visited Cuba in March and held a mass for hundreds of thousands of people at Revolution Square in Havana. In his public statements, the Pope was cautious and pragmatic, and he spoke of the need for both human rights reforms in Cuba and an end to the isolation the country suffered since the US imposed its embargo in 1962.

A week before the Pope's visit, the authorities had launched an arrest campaign against Damas de Blanco ('Ladies in White'), a group of relatives of imprisoned political dissidents. 70 activists were arrested, but most were released within two days.

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