One year after the death of Fidel Castro there has been a retreat from the limited attempts at reform undertaken by his heir and brother, to the point that there was a freeze on licenses for the self-employed, and cooperatives have suffered ruthless attacks by the State, which has acted to close several of them.
As a result of the acoustic attacks on diplomats relations with the US, which had been worsening since the US president's visit and the "Brother Obama" diatribe, hit levels lower than when there was just an Interests Section, though the embassies have been maintained. The US does not blame the Cuban government directly for the attacks, but holds it responsible for not having guaranteed the security of US representatives.
General Castro's government insists that there were no such attacks, and that everything is just a pretext to step back from the advance in relations made during the Obama era. In fact, it was Fidel and his brother who sabotaged progress, as they were never interested in closer ties with the USA.
In truth, they only wanted to open up to US tourism and investments valuable to the Government's "business portfolio". The people-to-people policy the US leader endorsed, support for entrepreneurs, and the affection the Cuban people showed for President Obama convinced them that they had gone too far in their rapprochement with the "Empire". Their money is welcome. But we don't want to be chums, they concluded. Too dangerous.
And those winds brought these storms, because if they had taken advantage of the opportunity for a closer relationship with the US, the affair involving the acoustic attacks could have been resolved without further incident.
Making a great effort to uphold the late leader's legacy, and his totalitarian ideas, the system has continued to crumble. The Communist Party of Cuba and the Poder Popular have lost the little clout they were ceded. They now command no prestige and the "dictatorship of the proletariat" is imposed by State Security forces, politically, while the FAR (Armed Forces) oversee the economy, either openly or through theirs officers and agents, cum "civil servants or businesspeople".
The economy continues to decline. Cubans of all ages are weary, and most young people do not want to hear more talk about Castroism, simply because it offers no future. Dissidence is on the rise, even within the ranks of the ruling party. The big bureaucracy is increasingly isolated and the "confrontation with imperialism and the fight against the blockade" is the last card they are playing, but it is already a very old one. Obama's visit dealt it a blow from which it has not recovered.
The tale of the socialist, anti-imperialist revolution has fewer and fewer believers. People do not see workers exercising economic and political power anywhere, and the government clamoring for the lifting of the "blockade" while portraying itself "as an enemy of Yankee imperialism," is clearly incongruous; everyone can see that what they really want, shamefully and desperately, is to suckle from the tit of their northern neighbor.
The idea that the cause of the disaster is actually the internal blockade is gaining steam, as calls for lifting it are now coming from more than just the political opposition and dissidents. The brazen exploitation of workers has been exposed, especially that of "internationalist" doctors and workers paid in foreign currency. The quality of health and education, still hypocritically called "free", has declined.
The clearest demonstration of the weakness of the "system" lies in the repression of the opposition and dissidents, especially independent journalists, who are imprisoned, have their equipment confiscated, face trumped-up accusations, are slapped with severe fines and see their families harassed, and attempts to set the communities where they live against them. Above all, they are not allowed to leave the country.
The struggle to silence independent journalism has become the main mission of State Security forces, whose methods are modeled on those of the KGB, the Stasi, and the Gestapo.
Fidel Castro's death left Castroism without its icon, or any ideas. With his death began the downfall of the State's monopolistic capitalism and its undemocratic political system, which they attempted to impose on the Cuban people, in the name of a socialism that never existed.