Cuba after Fidel
By George Gedda
Reviewed by J. Edgar Williams
In the October issue of the Foreign Service Journal, George Gedda, recently retired as the State Department correspondent of the Associated Press, gives readers a look at how things have gone in Cuba since Fidel Castro handed power to his brother, Raul, earlier this year. In addition to reviewing the prospects for Cuba's future, especially its relations with the United States, Gedda also goes back to 1960 to summarize the history of Cuba's actions and U.S. responses. Although little has changed on the ground in Cuba, he observes that the Fidel-Raul faithful grow happier with each bad thing that befalls the United States.
Venezuela, under Hugo Chavez, has virtually replaced the subsidies that formerly came from the Soviets, and China also supports Cuba to some degree. Even so, ordinary Cuban workers remain discontented by low salaries, the housing shortage, inflation, food shortages, and more. Nor have reform measures announced by Raul shortly after taking office been implemented. A great many Cubans want internet access, but this is denied them because it would "disseminate subversive ideas."
The writer tells us of the debate regarding which most hurts Cuba: the U.S. embargo (though food and medical exports were legalized some years ago) or the Castro regime's long-standing dedication to fundamentalist socialism, which discourages production. He points out that the U.S. embargo (which the Castro followers--including those in the United States--falsely call a...