The Cuban Revolution and the Legacy of Fidel Castro

Socialism 2017

August 15, 2017
With Sam Farber

Fidel Castro, the chief architect and leader of the 1959 Cuban Revolution, died in 2016. He, and the state he created, managed to remain in power against U.S.-sponsored blockades, multiple assassination attempts, terrorist attacks, and an attempted military invasion. For that he became a beacon of anti-imperialism. His rag-tag guerilla army—aided by Fidel’s tactical, rhetorical, and organizational skills—overthrew the hated Bautista dictatorship, and Fidel, Che, and others led a transformation of Cuba into a one-party bureaucratic model of national development closely associated with the Soviet Union, on whose aid the Cuban regime came to depend on. While Fidel encouraged popular participation, he prevented popular democratic control, retaining a great deal of personal power in the 47 years he ruled. After Fidel, what is the future of the Cuban Revolution?

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