Today’s Seattle Times article referred to the 1969 Zafra de los diez milliones as a turning point for Fidel Castro. His charisma was no longer enough to ensure miracles (such as the eradication of illiteracy, and the success of programs to train doctors on the island) would continue. It was not just the Cubans in Miami who opposed the Castro government.
Prior to the 1980s, the majority of Cubans in the United States came from middle and upper class families. However, two decades after the revolution – 10,000 lower income Cubans stormed the Peruvian embassy in April of 1980 seeking asylum.
The Mariel Boatlift refugees, unpopular both in the United States and in Cuba was the ultimate result of the Cuban dissatisfaction. Approximately 125,000 Cubans entered the United States – including unskilled workers, and those labeled by the Castro government as criminals and mental patients.
25 years after the Cuban Revolution, Castro is “on the defensive” according to the Times. The government has matured, though, and should be able to weather the next 25 years.