A FTER A YEAR OF revolution, unrest was widespread. Every day troops patrolled the streets of Havana. Unemployment, always a problem in Cuba, had worsened with the wholesale discharge of soldiers and civil servants and the dislocations caused by attacks on landowners and businessmen. Prospects for the sugar industry were clouded. More than a million long tons remained from the previous year's harvest. Yet the overwhelming majority of Cubans continued to support Fidel Castro and his regime. Lower rents and utility rates, coupled with the end of organized gambling, had put more money in the pockets of workers. And most of the reforms decreed by the cabinet had received general approbation. Castro's personal popularity was high. His pictures, like the images of Our Lady of Charity, were to be seen in homes and business establishments. In the streets of the capital votive offerings testified to the sentiments of a grateful people: "Thank you, Fidel! Thank you for everything!" When a visiting American reporter asked a worker his opinion of the prime minister, the man replied. "Such a man! We've never had anyone like him!" 1
As the revolution broadened the scope of its activities and moved into new areas, Castro enlarged his own powers by taking personal charge of each new venture. He dictated all legislative, executive, and judicial acts of his government. When he established the National Institute of Agrarian Reform (INRA), he became its president. Though he left some day-to-day administrative duties to Núñez Jiménez, he refused to delegate authority and made all major decisions. And he interfered frequently in matters that should have been handled by subordinates. He directed the government's housing program in the same fashion, determining where and how apart
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Publication information: Book title: Fidel Castro. Contributors: Robert E. Quirk - Author. Publisher: W. W. Norton. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1995. Page number: Not available.