The 50th anniversary of Cuba’s committees for the defence of the revolution (CDRs) is an odd cause for celebration; neighbourhood CDRs, after all, monitor people’s activities and report them back to the state, so as to “guard" the neighbourhood. In images, the celebrations look funereal, like vigils at the bedside of a dying statist ideology. Fidel Castro recently told ‘The Atlantic’ monthly: “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore"; soon after, the government said it would cut a million state jobs. Castro may not live to see the 60th anniversary of CDRs; nor, in all likelihood, will the Cuban state ideology we know today.

Photograph: Enrique De La Osa/Reuters
Close