He turned 80 recently. And however much an icon he is for Cubans, he is also mortal, meaning Fidel Castro will not live forever.
Being the longest reigning ‘benovalent’ dictator (since 1959) in the world, being in the news off and on whenever there was (another) quarrel with its neighbour the USA, the question arises, “Will life change for the Cubans after Fidel?”
From a Cultural perspective: No.
First of all Cuba is a country with a steep hierarchical society (high Powerdistance). This means that centralised power and institutions probably are there to stay. Since 1925 Fidel Castro is already the third dictator of Cuba. Their total period of reign covers 61 years! This means in a period of 100 years (1906 – 2006) only 39 years Cuba wasn’t controlled by dictators. Of which more than 10 years (1933 -1944) Cuba had a number of “puppet presidents” behind which the strong real power holders stood. And all the elected presidents had short periods of reign. There was in most cases some kind of ‘scandal’ that led to their fall. In other words society is controlled by a few people, high up in the existing power pyramid or they gain and establish central power for a long period through up rise, “coups d’etat”, revolution, etc.