Nation: Bear Hug from a Sugar Daddy

Fidel Castro likes to rail at the evils of colonialism, but Cuba itself is in one vital respect the complacent ward of an imperialist nation. Without aid from its superpower sugar daddy, the Soviet Union, the Cuban economy would sink beneath the Caribbean waves.

The U.S.S.R. and its East European allies buy three-fourths of Cuba's sugar for about 400 per lb., vs. a world price of 90. In return, the Soviets sell Cuba nearly all the oil it burns, at $14 per bbl., about one-third below the world price The Soviets and the Eastern bloc also buy most of Cuba's nickel, its...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!