Castro speaking with the press in Havana during a visit of U.S. Senator George McGovern in May 1975. Prensa Latina / Reuters
NBC: Cuba After Castro: How Much Change, and How Quickly?
MIAMI — As the world takes in the news that Fidel Castro has died, many people are asking what will happen next in one of the last remaining Communist countries.
Raul Castro has been the leader of Cuba since his brother handed over power 10 years ago, and significant change has taken place on the island including reforms that would have been unthinkable under Fidel.
Raul Castro and President Barack Obama stunned the world in 2014 when they announced their countries would re-establish diplomatic ties after decades of isolation and hostility. Both nations have opened embassies and scheduled flights from the United States to Cuba have resumed after decades.
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WNU Editor: I have been to Cuba .... for both business and pleasure .... and my parents were regular visitors over the years as tourists. Over the years my impressions of Cuba have not changed .... it is a terribly poor country with limited opportunity .... and even though the Castro regime and their allies in the West were always boasting of their great achievements .... particularly on education and healthcare .... I have seen both up close .... and I will put it bluntly .... it is nothing to be boastful about .... a fact that many Cubans ... particularly the young .... have long realized. But with the Castro brothers alive and in power .... any hope of change was never realistically in the cards. That is why the death of Fidel Castro and the approaching retirement of his brother is a pivotal moment .... but for now I just do not see any change happening soon. The 1% who rule and run the nation do not want to lose their power and privilege, and there is no leader within the Communist regime who has the stomach to initiate any real change or progress. But change is coming, and IMHO it will be coming from primarily three sources. One .... the massive influx of American tourists .... primarily Cuban Americans who can speak the language and who have an affinity to Cuba. This alone will help to change the cultural mindset of many Cubans that there is a better life that they should be entitled to .... hence expect the pressure on the Cuban government .... especially on the street and local level .... to intensify . Two .... media .... primarily social media .... will influence the future leaders of Cuba. While Cuba's internet and communications networks are still limited, tightly controlled, and regulated .... these barriers are slowly coming down .... and once the cell companies move in and cell phones become as popular in Cuba as in the rest of the world .... watch-out. Three .... Cuban parents are fed up that their children .... at great risk to their lives .... fleeing the country for a better life. What will keep these kids home is the hope that a better life is around the corner .... and the death of Fidel Castro is now giving that hope. Break that hope .... again .... the Cuban government better watch-out. On a final note .... Jeffrey Goldberg .... the last American journalist to interview Fidel Castro .... sums it up best from El Commandente himself .... Fidel Knew the 'Cuban Model' Couldn't Last Forever (Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic)
Some Commentaries and Analysis On What Is Next For Cuba
With One Castro Gone, Questions About What the Other Castro Will Do -- New York Times
What's next for Cuba? -- Houston Chronicle
Cuba after Castro: How much change, and how quickly? -- CNBC
Analysis: Castro's death won't end Cuba's communist rule -- USA Today
Cuba after Fidel: how will the island change? -- Simon Calder, The Independent
After Fidel Castro, What Comes Next? -- Peter Kornbluh, The Nation
Cubans worry about what comes next after Fidel Castro’s death -- Washington Post
What’s next for Fidel Castro’s large immediate family in Cuba? -- Miami Herald
Analysis: Fidel Castro's death will do little to change US-Cuba relations, experts say -- FOX News
After Fidel Castro's Death, What's Next For U.S.-Cuba Relationship? -- NPR