In 1959, the infamous Cuban Revolution, led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, took place. It was a political and social revolution that overthrew the democratic government of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista and established a socialist state in the country. Over the last 64 years, the Revolution is still considered the most significant event in the history of Cuba and has had a lasting impact on the country's political, social, and economic development.
Over the last six decades, Cuba has experienced major economic struggles. Despite the Revolution's initial successes in improving education, healthcare, and literacy, the Cuban economy has struggled for many years, with high poverty levels and economic inequality. The country's economic situation has been further exacerbated by a long-standing (60-year) US trade embargo, which has limited Cuba's access to international markets and investment and made importing many goods and technologies difficult.
The film, "Cuba's Fading Revolution", shines a spotlight on the sociopolitical and economic issues Cuba and its people are currently experiencing. It is a country on the verge of an economic collapse, with its citizens dealing with food shortages and unstable electricity, thanks to its relative economic isolation. Lining up for the basics, from chicken to toilet paper to medicine, is a part of daily life. A once thriving tourism industry has ground to a halt due to the COVID pandemic, and an ill-timed currency reform act has triggered inflation, sending prices soaring.
The Cuban people are well known for their ingenuity and optimism. However, poverty is rising, and budgets and patience are stretched to the limit. Many are beginning to feel disillusioned with the country's state, particularly in the streets of its capital, Havana. Once called the "Jewel of the Caribbean", it is now run-down and decrepit, with many of its streets and buildings falling apart. Social services such as decent housing, plumbing and overall maintenance are now a thing of the past.
And while people are disheartened, disappointed and upset, many are still afraid to speak out against the communist regime. The government still rules with an iron fist, arresting protesters and broadcasting its socialist ideologies on local networks. It is sticking to the same procedural formula that has worked for them over the last 60+ years.
However, it is not working for their people. The current economic situation in Cuba is challenging, and the country faces several structural and systemic issues that the government must address to achieve sustainable economic growth and development.
Living through this current crisis is a testament to the Cuban people's resilience. The glorious days of Cuba's Communist Revolution have long faded, just like the people's hope and belief that things will get better.
Directed by: Pertti Pesonen