Exploring and Living in Cuba

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Tuesday, 06 December 2016 11:12

What will happen in Cuba in the face of Fidel Castro’s absence?

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For many Cubans, Fidel Castro for all practical purposes was dead and buried years ago. Therefore, many of them have had their eyes and minds turned toward the future in an effort to move on from Fidel. There are no statues to Fidel in Cuba but his slogans can be found painted on the side of many buildings and billboards. So, it will be difficult to forget him altogether since his name will still be on the lips of those who loved him and others who blamed him for all of the island’s ills.

Nevertheless, with the death of Fidel the country’s political situation should open up and become more flexible. Raúl will have an enormous weight taken off his shoulders. He will no longer have to deal with his older brother’s overwhelming personality, persona nor his opinions. Fidel’s omnipresence will no longer be looming in the shadows.

The Cuban people can only hope for some type of change for the better, especially with the closer ties and improved relations with the U.S. Alejandro López Levy, a specialist in Cuban affairs at New York University’s of Global Studies, stated “After Fidel’s death there should be reforms designed to eradicate the aspects of communist politic’s that are not practical.” "The impact and nature of the posible reforms will be limited to Raul’s vision since he has the last word in these matters and the fact that he has vowed to be true to the essence of the Cuban Revolution.” He has already made progress in reforming the country since her took over in 2008 by allowing small businesses and the sale of homes in an effort to stimulate the economy.

If the United State’s policy of normalization continues in the direction it is currently moving, the prospect of of change on the island should continue. Let’s hope that President-elect Trump will not roll back the progress that has already been made in U.S/Cuba relations. By continuing the progress toward normalization of relations with Cuba Mr. Trump has an chance to make Cuba part of his foreign policy legacy as well.

As stated in the Huffington Post, "A candidate who based much of his campaign on leveling the playing field for US trade should encourage, not undermine, the American companies that after 57 years of being locked out of the Cuban market, can finally have access to that market. Donald Trump ran as an agent of change. After fifty years of a failed embargo, normalization of relations with Cuba is the right kind of change."

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