The introductory chapter draws a broad picture of events and challenges following in Fidel Castro’s footsteps, departing from the premise that hardly anybody could imagine the Cuban Revolution surviving without Fidel at the helm. The chapter is outlining the key question we intend to discuss in this book: Where is Cuba going after Fidel, first under his brother Raúl (president 2008–2018) and then as a new generation of leaders is gradually taking over? More specifically, is a widening of economic pluralism taking place in such a way that it may lead to increasing political pluralism and de-concentration of power? Or, alternatively, will changes in the political and power structure accelerate or slow down economic reforms? Specific problems with the study of politics in Cuba are explained, particularly the lack of a political science tradition. The chapter also goes through the main reforms originally launched by Raúl Castro after he took over the full responsibility from his brother Fidel, in particular the Guidelines for Economic and Social Policy, approved by the 6th Party Congress in 2011.
KeywordsFidel Castro Raúl Castro Transformation Economic pluralism Political pluralism Reform agenda
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