Cuba is seeing a surge in tourism, helped in part by the arrival of Americans. But it is suffering economically, in part because of its reliance on fuel from Venezuela, which is itself collapsing, NPR’s Carrie Kahn reports.
If Raul Castro is able to orchestrate a relatively smooth succession with no significant changes in Cuba’s political or economic model, we can expect one of three sad scenarios, writes José Azel, a Senior Scholar at the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies:
- Continuity. If the death of the Castro brothers results in a power struggle and a loss of coherence in the military/party elites, we may witness a (2) Fractured Solidarity of the Ruling Elite. If this weakened leadership engenders deteriorating economic conditions, widespread popular discontent, etc. the best case scenario may produce a reform oriented new leadership (3) Transition. The most likely case is some form of authoritarian rule, and the worst case would be a failed state.
Meanwhile, leading Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas ended a 54-day hunger strike Monday, citing a European Parliament plan to press Havana’s communist leaders to ease up on dissidents, AFP reports:
Award-winning human rights activist Farinas said the body could seek an amendment over political repression, to an EU-Cuban cooperation deal. Cuba and the EU reached an agreement on political dialogue and cooperation in March. Farinas, awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov human rights prize in 2010, stopped consuming food and liquids on July 20 at his home in Santa Clara, central Cuba.