A man repairs a vintage car on a street in Havana, Cuba.
Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters

Cuba is at a turning point. President Fidel Castro has been using his power boldly during the past two years to reshape internal affairs along lines not seen since the late 1960s. Instead of delegating authority to powerful subordinates, as-he had done since the early 1970s, he has recentralized it. Instead of liberalizing the economy, he has reversed several market-reliant policies of the past decade. And instead of stressing pragmatic policy goals, he has again been emphasizing the need to follow the "correct" ideological route in building socialism.

Despite these internal changes, Cuban foreign policy has remained on course. What Cuba does, and what happens in Cuba, matters because its government has been "the mouse that roared" in world affairs. Cuba has posted personnel overseas in three dozen countries, ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. In no fewer than a dozen of these, including "world hot spots" such as Nicaragua, Ethiopia

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  • Jorge I. Domínguez is a professor of government at Harvard University. His book, To Make a World Safe for Revolution, will be published in 1987. His research on Cuba has been supported by the Ford Foundation.
  • More By Jorge Dominguez