Former President of Cuba Fidel Castro visits a mausoleum in Artemisa, his first reported appearance outside Havana since leaving office in 2006.
Cuban President and First Secretary of the Communist Party Miguel Díaz-Canel admits that his administration has failed to handle the shortages and neglected certain sectors. However, he also urges protesters not to be “hateful”.
Cuba's National Assembly of People's Power approves a law banning commemorative statues of late President Fidel Castro, and the naming of public places after him, in accordance with the wishes of Castro, who died last month.
British rock band The Rolling Stones performs in Havana, Cuba, playing an open-air free concert in the country, in what has been called a "historic moment." Western music used to be banned in Cuba as being "ideologically divergent."
Cuban officials announce they have detected the first case of the Zika virus transmitted inside the country: a 21-year-old Havana woman who had not traveled abroad. Cuba has reported a handful of travel-associated Zika cases, all believed imported from Venezuela.
Government officials from Cuba and the U.S. met in Havana, beginning settlement discussions surrounding $1.9 billion worth of U.S. assets seized by Fidel Castro’s regime in the early 1960s. By law, the United States embargo against Cuba cannot cease until settlements are made. [https:--www.washingtonpost.com-world-the_americas-in-major-breakthrough-cuba-and-us-discuss-19billion-in-property-claims-2015-12-08-9bc2ced0-9d23-11e5-9ad2-568d814bbf3b_story.html "(Washington Post)"]
After having arrived in Havana, Cuba, the day before, Pope Francis, in the third trip by an incumbent Pope to Cuba, presides over a Papal Mass in Havana's Plaza de la Revolución, and pleads for Colombia and the FARC rebels to make a final peace, also noting the better relations between the U.S., which he will visit next, and Cuba. He holds a meeting with Cuban President Raúl Castro, and meets for a talk and exchange of gifts with former Cuban President Fidel Castro.
The President of Cuba, Raul Castro, is received in an official private audience with Pope Francis, who will become the third Pope to visit the still officially Communist island before visiting the U.S. this October. Some restrictions on exercise of religion, and a few restrictions on other rights, have been lifted or relaxed, especially after Pope John Paul II's historic 1998 meeting with Fidel Castro, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's trip during his reign, and especially in 2014 and earlier this year, after Raul and Francis and U.S. President Barack Obama's diplomatic team dramatically improved U.S.-Cuba relations. President Castro went there to thank Francis, whom he publicly has stated his admiration for, for his efforts, and spoke of the possibility of converting and of officially restoring the Church.