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>> Cuba's marking the first anniversary of the death of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Saturday, with a series of vigils and concerts nationwide as the post Castro era beckons. I'm Sarah Marsh and I reported on this story in Havana.>>
> Fidel Castro, a towering figure of the 20th century.
He built a Communist run country on the doorstep of the United States, died on November 25th last year. But he had already been out of the public limelight for about a decade due to ill health and had formally handed over the presidency to his younger brother, Raul Castro in 2008.
Cubans say little has changed in the years since he died. Ultimately the pace of economic reform has not picked up. On the contrary, the government actually suspended the issuance of certain new private sector business licenses in August. Meanwhile, relations with the United States have also not improved. Actually, they've worsened under the US President, Donald Trump who has tightened the embargo on the island.
Political analysts says that more change is likely to come about due to the upcoming electoral cycle. Cubans go to the polls on Sunday to vote in municipal elections, then follow provincial and national elections. And finally, in February, a new National Assembly is set to elect a new President.
Raul Castro has said he will step down after two consecutive terms as President, although he will remain head of the Communist Party. Some Cubans are hopeful that this will bring about positive change. They say that they want more reforms to the beleaguered economy. And they think it's about time that the historic generations of leaders of the 1959 revolution, who are now in their 80s and 90s step down, and make way for a new generation of younger leaders.
Others say that no one can fill in the Castro's shoes. They say that Fidel was unique and that they want to remain faithful to his political thinking. Over the past year, a chant has become common throughout Cuba which is, yo soy Fidel, I am Fidel.