Cuba After 15 Years

December 19, 1973

Report Outline
Conditions in Contemporary CUBA
Social Change Under Castro
Cuban Foreign Policy in the 1970S
Special Focus

Conditions in Contemporary CUBA

Castro Regime's Diminishing Ideological Fervor

The revolutionary regime of Fidel Castro, which marks its fifteenth anniversary on Jan. 1, is nearing a critical phase of development. Beset by economic difficulties and shortages of consumer and industrial goods, and heavily in debt to the Soviet Union, Castro is under pressure to step up agricultural and industrial production, and to improve the economic management of his country.

After 15 years of authoritarian, one-man rule, there are signs that the revolution is running out of the ideological fervor that has carried it through foreign harassment, invasion, economic embargo and diplomatic isolation in the Western Hemisphere. Castro is attempting to institutionalize the revolution, relieving it of dependence on the physical presence of one man—himself—and preparing a more secure future for the island. In foreign affairs, the Cuban government is attempting to rebuild the economic and political relations with its Caribbean and Latin American neighbors that were cut off in the early 1960s.

At 47 years of age, Castro shows evidence of becoming a more resilient political leader, willing to compromise some of the extreme goals he set when he came to power in 1959. Since the death of Ernesto (Che) Guevara in Bolivia in 1968, Cuba has put less emphasis on “exporting” its revolution. More recently, Castro has taken the initiative to reestablish diplomatic relations with several hemispheric countries, and has opened the way for trade relations with others.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Jun. 12, 2015  Restoring Ties With Cuba
Jul. 20, 2007  Cuba's Future
Dec. 12, 1997  Castro's Next Move
Nov. 29, 1991  Cuba in Crisis
May 20, 1977  Cuban Expansionism
Dec. 19, 1973  Cuba After 15 Years
Jul. 03, 1968  Cuba Under Castro
Apr. 06, 1960  Subversion in Latin America
Jun. 25, 1930  Cuban-American Relations
Regional Political Affairs: Latin America and the Caribbean