A car drives past a wall reading "We Continue Defending Revolution" referring to Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), in Havana on March 20, 2018.
/ AFP / Yamil LAGE
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The Committees for the Defense of the Revolution were Fidel Castro's brainchild nearly 60 years ago, created to keep watch over a shaky regime – now, they are an enduring symbol of communism in Cuba. While their role may have changed somewhat, these bodies remain overseers of the revolution at a local level – and will be charged with ensuring discipline when Raul Castro hands over the presidency to his successor on April 19 .In his modest home in Cienfuegos, located 230 kilometers from Havana, Orlando Fernandez remembers perfectly listening to a radio broadcast of Fidel's speech to the nation on the night of September 28, 1960 .Thousands of cells exist in every neighborhood, in every village in the country, with around 8 million members – more than three-quarters of the island's population.Fernandez, however, hopes the groups will survive, saying they are inseparable from Cuban communism.
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