© 2020

Cuba, From Fidel to Raúl and Beyond

  • Analyzes ?the formal end of the Castro era in April 2018 in Cuban politics

  • Describes the special character of the Cuban Revolution and its international significance far beyond the size of the small island state

  • Examines the formidable challenges left to the new generation of leaders, including a deep economic crisis and a political crisis of legitimacy


Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Vegard Bye
    Pages 1-16
  3. Vegard Bye
    Pages 17-47
  4. Vegard Bye
    Pages 173-205
  5. Vegard Bye
    Pages 207-233
  6. Vegard Bye
    Pages 271-287
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 289-314

About this book


This book analyzes the economic reforms and political adjustments that took place in Cuba during the era of Raúl Castro’s leadership and its immediate aftermath, the first year of his successor, Miguel Díaz-Canel. Faced with economic challenges and a political crisis of legitimacy now that the Castro brothers are no longer in power, the Cuban Revolution finds itself at another critical juncture, confronted with the loss of Latin American allies and a more hostile and implacable US administration.


Vegard Bye is Partner at Scanteam a.s., an Oslo-based consulting company. He has studied and written on Cuba for four decades, and coordinated academic collaboration with Cuban institutions on behalf of the University of Oslo.


Cuba Fidel contemporary politics centralization vs. de-centralization authoritarianism legitimacy agrarian reform growth

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Scanteam a.s.OsloNorway

About the authors

Vegard Bye is Partner at Scanteam a.s., an Oslo-based consulting company. He has studied and written on Cuba for four decades, and coordinated academic collaboration with Cuban institutions on behalf of the University of Oslo.   

Bibliographic information


“The text that Vegard Bye presents to us summarizes the ideas and visions that he has been developing after years of observing closely the evolution of the Cuban social, political and economic model, especially during the reforms process led by Raul Castro since 2008. His proposals and analysis have the virtue of not falling into common places and stereotypes so usual in the Cuba subject. He found originality from his firsthand knowledge of the Cuban reality, seen from an international perspective and from the prism of modern concepts of political science.” (Pavel Vidal Alejandro, Professor of Economics at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia)

“This is a timely book and a well-informed contribution to the ever-going debate about Cuba’s future. The author has accumulated decades of experience in assessing and living in the Cuban reality, and the book offers just that, a scholarly as much as a personal view of the events in the Island. Whether you share or not his opinions, this piece will greatly contribute to your knowledge about this fascinating country, in a way that is both enjoyable and useful.” (Ricardo Torres, Professor at the Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy, University of Havana, Cuba)

“Displaying an expertise gained through several decades of closely watching developments on the island, Bye delivered a very perceptive and informed analysis of the economic and political changes in the post-Fidel era, the outcomes of Raúl Castro’s reform and the political scenarios for the future. A most-needed assessment of Cuba’s contemporary realities from a political science perspective.” (Nora Gamez Torres, Cuban-American journalist covering Cuba and US-Cuban relations for Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald)

“A timely and thankfully heterodox volume that gives readers a front row seat and fresh and locally informed analysis of contemporary Cuban political economy. The book provides both a sober assessment of Raúl Castro’s 10 years of economic reforms (2008-2018) and an early analysis of the first year of Miguel Díaz-Canel’s—Raúl’s hand-picked successor—government. Its unique perspective derives equally from the author’s immersion in progressive projects of national renovation in Cuba and Nicaragua as a war correspondent, United Nations official, and representative of various Norwegian development agencies. Bye’s ongoing collaboration with various leading Cuban NGOs and civil society groups gives his book an insider’s insight and balance rare for a volume by a non-Cuban about such a controversial topic as Cuban politics.” (Ted A. Henken, Associate Professor of Sociology at Baruch College, City University of New York, USA)

“A study on Cuba focused on its most pressing issues. A must-read for any researcher—carefully researched and accessible to anyone interested in the past, present and future of the Cuban Revolution.” (Harold Cárdenas, co-founder of the Cuban blog La Jóven Cuba)