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Vienna | 28.9.2007 | 17:08 
God, what's happening in the world! A reality check on the web.

Chris, DaddyD, Zita

Reality Check Special
  When you're a hip hop artist in Cuba trying to make ends meet - let's face it life can't be easy. But if you are a women, openly gay and with a strong feminist viewpoint then the stakes become much greater. Step up to the microphone: Las Krudas.
Las Krudas
  By day they are two street musicians looking out for tourist dollars on the streets of the capital. By night, they head to the underground clubs and start rapping. They have become something of a phenomenon in revolutionary Cuba which is drip-feeding its way into a Post-Castro era.
Las Krudas roughly translates as "the crude ones" and from that very title to the songs, it's clear they have an agenda: to confront the macho culture that haunts the island and to add their voice to a population which is calling for change and bracing itself for a new era.

On the verge
  Despite his appearance on television earlier this week (clutching a copy of Alan Greenspan's new book), Fidel is clearly a sick old octogenarian clinging on. But a sense of transformation is on most people's lips - the question is what shape and form will that change take. For many the wheels of transformation have already begun, Fidel has relinquished power to his brother Raul. Gone are the hour long speeches on state television laced with revolutionary rhetoric. Raul is more regressive and camera-shy, but he is known as a pragmatist and an organiser. He has been the world's longest serving Defence Minister and it's suggested by Cuba watchers that the island's army is highly organized and efficient as well.
  Raul has talked the talk of economic change particularly in a speech he gave recently. And there are indicators that Cuba is preparing for a Vietnamese or Chinese style of embracing market-economics: slow, carefully managed transformations while the govt still retains control and could put a lid on things at any time. The economy needs more of a boost now than probably at any earlier stage in its revolutionary history.
  Next year will see all important Presidential elections and it will be interesting to observe what role Fidel will play if any. Ahead of that there will be parliamentary elections and parliamentarians will go on to rubber stamp the chosen one. It could still be the rigid, but clearly fading Fidel or his more pragmatic brother. But whoever - Cubans are beginning to feel that there is an imminent end-game to the decades of being caught in the economic doldrums.
  Hear more on Saturday's Reality Check at 12 midday on FM4.

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