[Journal article: click here to see full text.]
The leadership and ideology of the Cuban regime have changed since Raúl Castro came to power. Fidel Castro’s charismatic authority was replaced by a collegial arrangement, and the centrally planned economy has admitted market socialist features. The main argument of this article is that both changes are related as the decline of charisma increased the relative weight of performance-based legitimacy. Drawing on the literature of communist survival, I claim that Cuba has thus changed from a charismatic post-totalitarian regime to a maturing one –thus joining China and Vietnam in the same regimetype, although Cuba has not (yet) restored capitalism.