Towards the End of Gerontocracy
A critical question in a system where the same generation of leaders have monopolised power for 60 years, is how the old guard is passing over power to younger leaders. The new President Miguel Díaz-Canel accompanied by other leaders in their 50s are gradually taking over state functions from the octogenarian generation, while Raúl Castro and his old comrades still maintain control of the Party. Who are in reality the power brokers in today’s Cuba? We identify a group of ‘13 Apostles’. How much renewal took place on Raúl Castro’s watch? We analyse the internal recruitment process to party and state leadership positions. Who are the new emerging leaders? One key question is the serious legitimacy challenge the younger leaders are exposed to: how is it being addressed? Outside of the power circles and particularly among young Cubans, the question of Voice versus Exit is today more relevant than ever. Patterns of emigration are analysed and we are trying to answer the question asked by so many: why is there so little social protest in Cuba—and will that change after the Castros?
KeywordsGenerational renewal Leadership recruitment Legitimacy Voice or exit Social protest
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