2015 saw a number of rapid developments with respect to the diplomatic status of the island with the restoration of diplomatic relations with the United States. An end to the economic embargo also seems to be in sight and other changes have already been achieved, including the release from prison of a number of opposition figures and human rights defenders. Although the general situation seems to have improved, no formal changes had been made to the legal code or the administration of the country's security and intelligence forces.
Human rights defenders remain vigilant, even if they are hopeful for change, and the government has yet to prove a commitment to human rights. The Cuban government controls all the media and those who advocate for freedom of expression are being constantly targeted for their legitimate human rights work, like the well-known case of the blogger Yoani Sanchez.
There does appear to be a shift in tactics under way, as over the first few months of 2015, the short-term detention of human rights defenders, journalists and critics of the government has appeared to increase in frequency, in comparison to previously used tactic of long-term detention. Concepts such as "public order" and "national security" have been used to criminalise HRDs with charges of "attacks" and "rebellion".