In many recent analyses of the Cuban revolution, the question of ideology has tended to lose some apparent relevance, as the post-1970 process of institutionalization and moderation has seemed to predicate a clear reversal, or at least neglect, of the ideological concerns of the supposedly ‘ultra-revolutionary’ 1960s. ‘Ideology’ then was some­ thing associated with either the ‘utopianism’ of Che Guevara, or the ‘hard-line’ characteristics of the period 1961-70, whether linked to the communist party (PSP) or the fidelista vanguard;1 as such it has seemed irrelevant in the newer, ‘realistic’, Cuba that emerged after the failed zafra (harvest) of 1970. Yet two developments of the post-1975 period have questioned that assumption.