Shit, man, that’s a books worth of shit; I’ll just give you 3 of each to keep it as short as possible.
1. Playing the Nuclear Powers off of each other: Castro was masterful and unmatched in using the Soviets against the US, and later to a lesser degree the Chinese. He did not managed to fully subdue the US’s criminal aggression against Cuba, but he attenuated it enough to build and institutionalize socialism on the island.
2. Going Green, Cuba was very good at both moving from an industrial economy to a post-industrial green economy with a limited time and with very limited resources. Peep this video:
3. Foreign support and assistance to African and other nations under Capitalist and Western Aggression. Cuba is one of the most generous and most consistent nations when it comes to supporting decolonization and economic justice movements all over the world.
1. Racism! Racism is alive and well in Cuba and all Latin American nations. Castro has publicly denounced Racism but has not given the needed State resources needed to assist Afro-Cubans in resisting Racism in Cuba. The good news is the young Afro-Cubans ain’t waiting for the State they are mobilizing against Racism on their own terms; just as many other African populations in Latin nations are.
2. Castro failed to press the fight against Capitalism and Colonization. That was the big dispute between he and Che, Che wanted to build on Cuba’s victories and spread guerrilla movements across the Caribbean, Central and South Americas; but Castro was too content with simply building a Socialist State in Cuba. Che understood that Cuba would be isolated and subverted if they didn’t not spread revolution and socialism across the hemisphere. Che Was Right.
3. Leader for Life Syndrome. Many of the post-colonial leaders have fallen into the trap. The either don’t trust or haven’t cultivated their citizens to take the reigns of power and continue the Revolution. Then he passed power on to his elderly brother instead of a younger Socialist Revolutionaries to continue the Struggle; that was possible a fatal mistake and could mean the end of the Cuban Revolutionary Socialist State. All that being said, Castro is still one of the greatest statesman of this and the previous century. I wouldn’t trade 1 Castro for 100 Mandelas or 1 million Obamas.Cuba is to Socialism what Haiti is to Black Liberation; a rally point, and a historical beacon. We can’t oversell the important of Cuba and it’s Socialist Revolution. Let’s hope Obama has not put a death nail in the Revolution with his “opening up,” to Cuba.