The survival of socialism in Cuba eight years after the collapse of Communist regimes in Eastern Europe has come as a surprise to many observers. This analysis surveys Cuba's current economic, political and social conditions, discusses regime stability and reform pressures in light of the Eastern European experience, and identifies the major processes and sources of social change. The same factors that account for the survival of the regime—charismatic leadership and the fusion of nationalism and socialism, reinforced by a confrontationist US foreign policy—open a window of opportunity for an approach to fundamental reform that could avoid the costs of both neoliberal radicalism and political immobilism. The analysis concludes by sketching the main elements of such an alternative reform strategy.

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