At age 90, Castro still wields considerable influence over Cuba
Cuba is a nation divided as tension rises over how quickly to embrace economic reform and how close ties should be with the United States. For those in Cuba wishing to remain with the communist past, Fidel Castro is still influential, even 10 years after ceding power to his younger brother Raul.
Fidel Castro re-emerging as birthday approaches
With his August 13 birthday approaching, Fidel Castro is making his thoughts known on the economic and political debates roiling the island nation.
At an event commemorating Fidel Castro’s 1953 assault on the Cuban Government, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura – second secretary for the Communist Party of Cuba made a statement on Fidel Castro’s influence:
“We reiterate our commitment to stay faithful to the ideas he’s fought for throughout his life and to keep the spirit of resistance, struggle and dialectic thought alive,” said Ventura.
After Obama visit, Cuba remains politically divided
Cuba is struggling with recent economic reforms and the results of the historic visit by US President Barack Obama. There are divides between hardliners and more moderate government members who want to open up more to the United States and the global economy.
Cuban President Raul Castro has to walk a fine line between closing up Cuba and damaging the economy further, and not turning too many of the still influential hardliners – including his still popular brother Fidel – against him.
The Venezuela Crisis is hurting the economy of Cuba
With Venezuela collapsing with no end in sight, Cuba is put in a tough situation. Cuba relies heavily on Venezuela for oil imports, but Venezuela is cutting back to focus on salvaging what little is left of their domestic economy.
This puts Cuba in a tough spot, as they do not want to rely on ideologically opposed governments for important resources. But with the Bolivarian Socialist government in Venezuela falling apart, and a key leftist ally in Brazil impeached, Cuba may be running out of options it deems palatable.
As reported by Caribbean News Now, “Cuban President Raul Castro admitted in the National Assembly earlier this month that the deepening crisis in Venezuela is having repercussions on the Caribbean island’s economy as a result of a reduction in the supply of crude oil.”
Cuba faces a difficult road ahead, as political divisions and a weak economy are never a good match.
More resources on Cuba and Fidel Castro
- HISTORIC PREVIOUSLY UNPUBLISHED CASTRO PHOTOS: http://hyperallergic.com/311288/a-photojournalists-previously-unpublished-images-of-fidel-castros-cuba-in-the-1960s/
- CARIBBEAN NEWS NOW: http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/topstory-Castro-admits-slowdown-of-Cuban-economy-after-Venezuela-cuts-oil-supplies-31253.html
- TORONTO STAR: https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/07/29/at-90-fidel-castro-still-symbol-of-cuban-resistance.html