ETSU professor says change likely slow following Castro death

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JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – Following the death of the influential Cuban dictator Fidel Castro the world is wondering what is next.

We talked to Dr. Daryl Carter, an associate professor of History at East Tennessee State University, and asked what we can expect from Cuba after the death of its longtime leader.

Carter said that while Castro’s brother Raul has shown some differences in his government, we should not expect major changes overnight.

“I wouldn’t expect anything tomorrow,” Carter said. “Fidel at this point was a mythical symbol for a lot of them. My sense is that the government will trickle along down there in Havana, at least for a period of time.”

Carter did say it is more likely that movement in the Cuban government will happen in 2018 when Raul Castro is expected to step down from office and retire.

“I would expect for American businesses, American politicians, and others in the western world to try to undermine the government at that point.”

While the change may be slow, Carter does believe this is the end of an era.

“I would look at this as the last remnant of the Cold War,” Carter said. “All the others are gone. Khrushchev has been gone for decades. Kennedy has been gone for decades. Every president going back to Eisenhower has had to deal with this guy and he’s largely outlasted them.”

The new era is one that Carter hopes holds a stronger relationship between the United States and Cuba.

“It would be my hope that there would be greater political reforms and openness between the United States and Cuba and that we put aside the Cold War mindset that has often governed our relationship with Cuba over the last 15 years and start to plot a reasonable path forward that could help the Cuban people do better.”

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All Rights Reserved.

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