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CUBA: Heroic myth and prosaic failure

Half a century on, the euphoria is long gone. Everyday life in Cuba is a dreary affair of queues and shortages, even if nobody starves and violent crime is rare. It is the only country in the Americas whose government denies its citizens freedom of expression and assembly. Cuba’s jails contain 58 “prisoners of conscience” detained purely for their beliefs, according to Amnesty International, a human-rights group. But to the chagrin of the United States, and in defiance of its futile embargo, Mr Castro and Cuban communism stubbornly cling on just 90 miles across the Florida Straits.

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