ABSTRACT

One of the most outstanding and paradoxical characteristics of the Cuban Revolution has been the few benefits derived from it by the worker. From the outset, Castro alluded to past injustices and invoked the interest of the working class as the target for his plans and promises of well-being. The first year was marked by a flurry of offers and predictions, often extravagant, in regard to the wonderful destiny awaiting workers and peasants. Certain labor benefits were implemented in 1959, but by the following year difficulties and scarcities were starting to be announced. Conscious of an imminent geopolitical change, of the social price of transition, and the certain impact of the revolution’s other objectives, Castro warned the Cuban worker of the sacrifices that would inevitably have to be made in the near future. In fact, in November I96I, the 11th Congress of the Confederation of Cuban Workers (CTC) witnessed the loss of acquired rights by the working class. A few months later, the rationing system was installed that would so deeply affect living conditions. The worker had in fact begun early on to experience hardships both as consumer and producer.