There is a nagging sense that an important moment has come. Part of me thinks there is something we should be doing other than let it fall by its own weight. But I can't think what it is.
Susan Kaufman Purcell
(quoted in Rosenthal, 1991)
In the last issue of the Journal, this writer published an article challenging the conventional wisdom concerning the future of the Castro regime. To the question “can Castro survive?,” I answered that yes, unfortunately, the prospects for his political demise in the near future were not all that good. A golpe de estado, while possible, was not probable. Nor was it likely that the Cuban masses would rise up and overthrow the dictatorship. And, while Fidel could become the victim of assassination, suicide, or natural death (or, for that matter, could even resign, as he has hinted on more than one occasion), these kinds of endings cannot be counted upon in the short run. For a variety of reasons, Castro's “final hour” seems likely to last for several years and, perhaps, much longer (see Schulz, 1993a).