Friday, January 1, 1999 Published at 02:23 GMT
Cuba - the struggle goes on
A victorious Castro speaks to his people 1 January 1959
By Havana correspondent Tom Gibb
As Fidel Castro prepares to address the Cuban people from the balcony where he declared victory on January 1st 1959, little remains of the popular fervour which greeted his revolution 40 years ago.
"Cubans are naturally rebellious," said Carmen Flores, a scientist boarding a crowded truck to get to work.
The bearded revolutionary quickly brought antagonism from Washington.
After a failed US invasion attempt, he threw in his lot with the Soviet Bloc, declaring the revolution socialist, "of the poor, by the poor and for the poor."
Today there is still real poverty in the Sierra Maestra.
But living conditions improved little. His dream of his own land remains unfulfilled.
"That would resolve everything," he says. "Because then you know that you are working for yourself."
Today he gets health care and some food rations - but not enough to live on. This year the rains have failed and he is worried there will not be enough to eat.
The government blames the 36-year-old US economic embargo for the island's continued inability to feed itself. But there are also dozens of restrictions on farmers growing and selling.
"People are getting fed up of this rationing," said Cuban journalist Moises Saab. "The situation needs a shake - a hard shake in order to change."
Most money-making opportunities centre around hustling tourists. In the last five years prostitution and street crime, two of the evils of the old Cuba which the revolution promised to stamp out - have returned in force.
In Santiago prostitutes are once again being rounded up for re-education on farms in the countryside.
The slogans say that the revolution will last for ever and that there will never be a transition to capitalism. They call for ever greater struggle and effort for efficiency. But increasingly these are sacrifices which many Cubans are unwilling to make.
The American naval base at Guantanamo Bay remains a contentious issue.
Castro: The great survivor