On Friday, Fidel Castro died at the age of 90, likely convinced that the Marxist-Leninist regime that he personally controlled with an iron hand would survive him.
Nobody can say with certainty how Cuba would be now without his revolution, but that doesn't mean that we can't talk objectively about what he leaves behind.
It's undeniable that education and health care have been free since the first days of revolution. Cuba has a lower infant mortality rates than the U.S. and Canada, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Infectious diseases like polio, smallpox, measles, tuberculosis and malaria were eliminated by the end of the 1960s. But regardless of how good or efficient the health care system was, it currently is designed for two classes of patients: 1.) the general population; and 2.) tourists with hard currency, high-ranking officials and foreign leaders from friendly countries. Years of neglect, along with a lack of investment and incentives, have irreparably eroded the services for those who can't pay with hard currency.
Though free of charge, the educational system was a tool for indoctrination, recruitment and bribery for the vast system of informants and intelligence officers the Castro regime relied upon. Only those identified with the revolution were allowed to study "strategic" careers like law, philosophy, diplomacy and medicine.
Until the late '90s, if you were known to be religious, you were not allowed in any institute of higher education.
The continuing exodus of teachers and professionals has undermined what once was the pearl of the revolution.
Castro is responsible for thousands of summary executions of dissenters and even allies that became potential threats; he built concentration camps that he filled with gays, intellectuals, religious believers and other people deemed potentially dangerous to the state.
Listening to rock music or having long hair was classified as "ideological deviation," a crime that could send you straight to jail without a right to a trial.
"I feel sad," said Jose Prats Sariol, a Cuban novelist, writer and university professor who lives in Florida, when he was asked about the Cubans in Miami dancing and singing when they heard that Castro had died. "He died in bed, peacefully of old age. We, you and me, were not able to take him to court and make him pay for the crimes he committed."