As Castro Fades, a Crop of New Cuban Leaders ; Interviews with Two Younger Political Figures Suggest a Gradual Opening Both Economically and Socially

By Tom Fawthrop Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, December 27, 2006 | Go to article overview

As Castro Fades, a Crop of New Cuban Leaders ; Interviews with Two Younger Political Figures Suggest a Gradual Opening Both Economically and Socially


Tom Fawthrop Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


In a country that is in the process of bidding a long farewell to its ageing revolutionaries, Mariela Castro brings an expectation of change along with an air of youthful passion. As the director of Cenesex (the National Sex Education Center) Ms. Castro is eager to consider where Cuba should go in a postrevolutionary era.

"We have many contradictions in Cuba," says Castro, the daughter of Raul Castro, Cuba's de facto leader and brother of ailing President Fidel Castro. A Spanish doctor arrived in Cuba last week, reenergizing speculation about the health of the Cuban leader, who has not been seen in public since undergoing surgery in July. "We need to experiment and to test what really works, to make public ownership more effective, rather than simply adopting wholesale free- market reforms," Ms. Castro says.

Leaders like Ms. Castro may indicate the extent to which a post- Castro Cuba may be willing to liberalize, both economically and socially. As Cuba's old-guard leadership fades, this new generation - made up primarily of the sons and daughters of those who fought in the 1959 Communist revolution - is perhaps more sympathetic to economic reforms and more-liberal social policies.

Nevertheless, Cuba-watchers and experts have ruled out any dramatic lurch toward a liberal market economy that might undermine the island nation's heritage as the persistent holdout of traditional Communist policies. More relaxed social attitudes may also evolve gradually.

Still, no one doubts that change is afoot.

"The transition in Cuba has already taken place" and this new generation has a key role to play, says Richard Gott, a Latin American analyst and former foreign correspondent for the London- based The Guardian newspaper. "Carlos Lage will be the brains behind the new government. He, together with Julio Soberon at the central bank, will seek to chart a new economic course."

Now Raul Castro has started to echo some of his daughter's sentiments. Addressing university students, he urged that they should ''fearlessly engage in public debate and analysis," according to Granma, the Communist Party newspaper.

Cuba is one of several Latin American countries that once harassed homosexuals as a matter of policy. But Mariela Castro, who is also an executive member of the World Association for Sexual Health, insists that job discrimination and mass arrests are a thing of the past.

"[Homosexuals] still sometimes face arrest by bigoted police" says Castro, adding that she has sometimes clashed with the authorities in her efforts to release gay men and women from prison.

"Now, society is more relaxed. There is no official repression of gays and lesbians," she argues confidently.

A writer turned politico

Cuban writer and culture minister Abel Prieto has also emerged as an influential power broker in a changing Cuba. Since joining the state bureaucracy and the politburo, the long-haired, middle-aged minister still exudes a passion for culture and a common touch.

In response to a question about the conflict of interest between writers and the state, Mr. Prieto laughs, saying that, "sometimes I feel like Dr. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

As Castro Fades, a Crop of New Cuban Leaders ; Interviews with Two Younger Political Figures Suggest a Gradual Opening Both Economically and Socially
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.