Cuba After Castro: Legacies, Challenges, and Impediments by Edward Gonzalez

By Edward Gonzalez

Examines the sociopolitical legacy and financial demanding situations that would face a post-Castro goverment and the Cuban humans themselves within the period after Castro.

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N. human rights observer––a request that Havana later rejected. The Commission defeated a stronger amendment that re ferred to Havana’s recent crackdown and that called for the release of the more than 75 imprisoned dissidents. N. S. exchanges to the island as of June 1, 2003. On June 6, the European Union (EU) froze further consideration of the trade and aid pact with Cuba, limited high-level government visits to the island, and invited Cuban dissidents to Europe. On June 24, the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders issued a stinging indictment of the regime, charging that with its earlier imprisonment of four independent journalists, Cuba had now become “the world’s biggest prison for members of the press” (Reporters Without Borders, 2003a, p.

The major fault line will run between committed fidelistas, who at most may constitute a large minority bloc, and the rest of the population, whose attitudes are likely to range from indifference to seething hatred toward Castro’s successors. As occurred in the East European communist transitions, this polarization is certain to tear at Cuba’s social fabric all the way down to the grass-roots level. Indeed, many Cubans are as likely to want to settle scores with the neighbor or co-worker who snitched on them as they are to want justice meted out to MININT and Party officials who abused their power.

16 According to data compiled by Mesa-Lago (2003a, p. 5) for monthly income in Havana for March–April 2002, a pensioner earned the equivalent of as little as $4; an elementary and secondary school teacher, $8–$15; a university professor, $12–$22; an officer in the armed forces, $13–$23; and a cabinet minister, $17–$23. In contrast, working in the private sector, a farmer earned $77–$1,923; a prostitute, $240–$1,400; a landlord renting a room, apartment, or house, $250–$4,000; and an owner of a paladar (home restaurant), $12,500– $50,000 (although the upper-range figure was rare).

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