03, the government arrested and imprisoned a large number of civil activists, a period known as the "Black Spring".
On July 31, 2006, Fidel Castro temporarily delegated his major duties to his brother, First Vice President, Raúl Castro, while Fidel recovered from surgery for an "acute intestinal crisis with sustained bleeding". On 2 December 2006, Fidel was too ill to attend the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Granma boat landing, fuelling speculation that he had stomach cancer, although there was evidence his illness was a digestive problem and not terminal.
In January 2007, footage was released of Fidel Castro meeting Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, in which Castro "appeared frail but stronger than three months ago". In February 2008, Fidel Castro announced his resignation as President of Cuba, and on 24 February Raúl was elected as the new President. In his acceptance speech, Raúl promised that some of the restrictions that limit Cubans' daily lives would be removed. In March 2009, Raúl Castro removed some of Fidel Castro's officials.
On 3 June 2009, the OAS adopted a resolution to end the 47-year ban on Cuban membership of the group. The meetings were contentious, with the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walking out at one point. However, in the end, the U.S. delegation agreed with the other members and approved the resolution. The resolution stated, however, that full membership would be delayed until Cuba was “in conformity with the practices, purposes, and principles of the OAS.” Cuban leaders have repeatedly announced they are not interested in rejoining the OAS, and Fidel Castro restated this after the OAS resolution had been announced