Castro’s Cuba: An Economic, Social, and Political Evaluation

22 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2019

Date Written: January 27, 2019


The performance of autocracies relative to democracies and to each other is of increasing interest to political scientists. In this article I attempt a contribution to that literature by evaluating the performance of Castro’s Cuba in relation to three dictatorships (Franco’s Spain, Pinochet’s Chile, and Brazil’s military regime) and two democracies, Cuba’s 1940-52 period and the post-Trujillo Dominican Republic. The peer dictatorships, though not coterminous, overlapped with Castro’s in time, while the Dominican democracy emerged only seven years after Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba. It offers us a glimpse of what “might have been” if Batista’s flight had ushered in a restoration of democracy as Castro had promised he would do before he came down from the Sierra Maestra.

Keywords: Castro, Dictatorships, Democracies, Economic Growth, Infant Mortality, Democide

JEL Classification: I, P, Z

Suggested Citation

Cuzan, Alfred G., Castro’s Cuba: An Economic, Social, and Political Evaluation (January 27, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Alfred G. Cuzan (Contact Author)

University of West Florida ( email )

11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514-5750
United States

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