Assess the possiblity of Cuba making democratic reforms towards a capitalist society.
The issue of Cuban direction towards the future is murky and so intensely complex. The many moving parts involved that to make a clear and definitive statement is only a part of what makes this extremely difficult. Pointing to the positive side that Cuba can make reforms and steps towards liberal democracy and capitalism would be that Cuban leadership is diversifying from the control of Fidel Castro. While the movement of such change is glacial, it is change. Castro has named other members close to him in positions of leadership, but at least he has recognized that he cannot be in total control as he used to be. This might be hope in itself as it could help to lessen the economic sanctions being placed on the island as well as open up diplomatic and economic doors that had been previously closed. Yet, the reality is that any change is going to be met with intense difficulty and hardship. An economy that has been government controlled for over half a century is one that will contain a great deal of inertia to change in terms of its direction. Adding to this is that the only way Cuba is going to be helped to make reforms in the private sector is through foreign investment and credit borrowing, something that is difficult to see in the foreseeable future as the government has not struck a clear chord on both issues. With the current global economic crisis, help from abroad seems less likely. These realities are not to say that change will not happen, but rather suggest that change is going to be a slow and very difficult process for both the Cuban economy and its people.