cartoon of the week

Days Numbered for the Cuban Revolution?

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CREDIT: Gary Markstein/ Creators Syndicate

Last Friday, Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban revolution, died at age 90. He assumed power in 1959, ousting the U.S.-backed Cuban government and replacing it with what soon became an authoritarian Communist state at odds with the United States. A U.S. trade embargo has been in place against Cuba for nearly 60 years, but in 2014, President Obama lifted some trade and travel restrictions, and diplomatic relations between the two countries resumed the following year. Fidel Castro had been in poor health since 2006, when he handed over power to his younger, but elderly, brother Raúl. With Cuba’s economy flailing for many years, Raúl Castro has allowed some private enterprise recently, as well as the sale of cars and homes. Now that Fidel is gone, questions remain about Cuba’s future, and whether the government will expand freedoms for Cubans.


  1. What’s happening in the cartoon, and where is the scene taking place? 
  2. Why is the grave pictured on the right still open, with a shovel next to it, and why is a clock ticking at the top of the gravestone? 
  3. What might the cartoonist be trying to say? How does he use symbolism to make his point?
  4. For many years, Cuba received financial help from the Soviet Union, which dissolved in 1991. Do you think Cuba can survive as a Communist state on its own? Explain.
  5. President-elect Donald Trump has said that he doesn’t agree with President Obama’s lifting of restrictions on Cuba. Are improved relations with America essential to Cuba’s future success? Why or why not?

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