Communist Cuba, which had viewed with suspicion Gorbachev's Western-leaning reforms, waited anxiously to see how his fall would affect future aid and relations with its biggest political ally and economic supplier.
While some of the Soviet hard-liners who replaced Gorbachev have publicly defended maintaining close ties with Cuba, political turmoil in the Soviet Union will send shock waves through the Caribbean island's fragile economy, which has depended for 30 years on Soviet oil and supplies. The news stunned Cuba as it was celebrating the successful staging of the Pan Am Games, closed by a euphoric President Fidel Castro on Sunday.
"It's still very early to say anything. We're following everything very closely," a Foreign Ministry official said.