What will a post Castro and post pandemic cube look like? 

Fidel Castro Cuba
[Fidel Castro,illustration ]

For nearly 60 years the name Castro was almost synonymous with Cube. After rising to power in Cuban Revolution in 1959, Fidel Castro would become a thron in America's side. 

Although the United States often tired to get rid of him, in the end Fidel Castro outlasted nine American presidents. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to assassin Fidel Castro by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Based on those attempts Dollan Connell made his documentary film named "638 Ways to Kill Castro" which is a worldwide famous documentary. 

Castro was a constant irritant to USA, just like a communist leader right on their doorstep. 

Fidel Castro ruled Cube for half a century. The self-declared Marxist Leninist transformed the nation into a one party communist state. 

He nationalised businesses,  industries and implemented socialist reforms throughout Cuba. As well as supporting anti-imperialist revolutionary groups abroad. 

He was a friend to leftist movements in Africa, Middle East and the other parts of latin America as he supported them during the cold war. 

For instance in 1970s and 80s Castro deployed thousands of soldiers worldwide to back leftist movements. According to The Washington Post, " In 1988,... a deployment of 36,000 Cuban troops played a decisive role in beating back U.S. supposed South African apartheid-era forces stationed in Angola. "

But as Fidel was increasingly inflicted by health scares, he orchestrated for his long time deputy and brother Raul to succeed him as President in 2008. 

By 2011, he had inherited the title of first Secretary of the Communist Party, country’s top political job and it was Raul who spoke to Cubans announcing the death of his elder brother in 2016.

Raul Castro resigns
[Raul Castro©AFP]

Now at the age of nearly nine decades as Cuba's last Castro Raul is set to leave the political stage which has created a sense of uncertainty for the island both economically and socially. 

In 2020, the economy shrank by 11 per cent and vital imports such as food,fuel and raw materials fall by nearly 40 per cent. And tourism once the country’s key source of income has now been brought to a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In the past few weeks Cuba has experienced the country's biggest spike in corona virus cases yet at the same time it is getting harder to find food and medical supplies on the Island. 

And anti-regime protests have increased in recent months. The introduction of data ready smartphones in 2018 made access to information easier and provided new forums for expression and even organising protests. The protest against government's crackdown on younger citizens on late November and early December in 2020 is an example of that and the protest is called an ultra-rare phenomena in Cuba by the West. 

However there are doubts that the country will abandon its military socialist approach to government anytime soon. In 2019, a new construction was adopted which emphasized that the country’s commitment to socialism was irreversible. That time Cubans had voted to ratify a new constitution and it was a huge victory for the Communist Party of Cube turnout for the election was 84 per cent which had been the record vote rate of the country and the 87 per cent of those who had voted,had voted 'Yes'.

But the country's direction will be largely shaped by Cuba's relation with the United States, Russia and Iran. The USA and Cuba have been hostile to each other since Fidel Castro took over the Presidency of Cuba. 

Fearing communism expansion the United States set up the embargo to strangle Cuba's economy, tried to assassinate Castro as I have mentioned above. Fidel Castro turned to Soviets for help and in 1962 they nearly started World War 3 when the U.S. blocked Soviet efforts to deploy nuclear missiles in Cuba.

What will a post-Castro Cuba look like?

In 2015, then U.S. President Barack Obama made history by taking several steps to restore diplomatic ties with Cube. However the Trump administration reversed course and tightened U.S. sanction further but the current President Joe Biden had promised during his Presidential election campaign to lift the sanctions raising hopes in Cuba . 

The Communist Party of Cuba founded by Fidel Castro has ruled Cuba since the 1959  Revolution but now the Castro era is now coming to an end. 

Now which direction the country will take? Will it follow the footprints of other communist states? 

[Note :–

John F. Kennedy's Speech:

"On his stronghold in the wild Sierra Maestra Mountains, Cuba's Fidel Castro emerged triumphant after the two years of guerilla warfare against the Batista Regime. " ]

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Disclaimer : This article is based on TRT World’s Double Check program. 

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