Now that ole Fidel Castro, arch-nemesis and scourge of 9 presidents and one of the last of the breed of Cold War revolutionaries (but of course you all knew that) is leaving the scene, I was just wondering if people had any thoughts about that?
From where I stand, maybe this will be a chance for our country to remove Cuba from such a distorted place in our politics – like taking a thorn out of our side. With Fidel gone maybe we can (I hope we do) reassess an embargo that did little to weaken his regime but was followed dutifully by our leaders for years, outlasting the Cold War, because of Florida’s electoral prominence. Maybe Cuba can start making some strides toward democracy and reduce its suppression of dissent.
Cuba may not be rich or free but people there can read, have a noteworthy health service and are socio-economically equal (most are pretty poor off of course). Fidel did live up to some of his own rhetoric.
The black mark against him is the repression he engaged in toward dissenters, gays, intellectuals and anyone who was not fully on his team. Ultimately, while he can claim to have survived years of American pressure and left a legacy of education and health behind, his brutal rule was damnable. Left or right, a dictator is ultimately still a dictator. Thoughts, views on the old goat?
I am thinking that I might get to visit there on some winter vactaion without having to fly out of Toronto while all along hoping that they dont stamp my passport when I arrive … 🙂
by Tony Karon, via Exra Klein:
That is one of the first thoughts that entered my mind when I first read about Fidel. I have had issues with the embargo my entire life. I understand putting in place at the time but I think it should only have been a short term measure and should have been lifted years ago.
p>I probably have an idealized view of Cuba from books and articles I have read (big Hemingway fan and read the first hand reporting by Jimmy Buffett and Sen. Barrios among others) but I have always wanted to travel there. I even tried to convince the wife to go on a trip through Mexico.
p>I have a bottle of Havana Club and a Cohiba that I am saving for the day the embargo is lifted.
through Global Exchange. Unfortunately Bush subsequently ended the cultural exchange provisions that allowed these trips to occur, but they had a great time bicycling around the island and meeting the local people.
p>A shame that the vocal Cuban minority in Florida hold both parties hostage and US Policy mired in the 1960s.
First, on gay rights in Cuba – not much different or worse than our own country. In case you didn’t know we have raids of gay bars in our country, police harassment, rape in our prisons, murder and violence on the streets, etc. I’m not saying Castro is a gay rights hero, or that his government’s tactics were right or just at anytime – but the current situation in cuba for gays is not so dire.
p>I also want to say that anything that would make the Oil Companies or corporations richer I am not in favor of. All trade with Cuba should be fair and take human rights into consideration.
p>I stand in solidarity with the Socialist Revolution happening in Venzuela and Bolivia that has eliminated illiteracy and reduced poverty and improved health care at rapid rates despite the US funded coup, and misinformation campaigns launched by our very own CIA and oil companies.
p>The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, will be at the Arlington Street Church on Tuesday – I encourage everyone to check it out. evoinboston.org
p>I passionately reject the idea that capitialism is by any means the answer to making Cubans more “free.”
p>I urge everyone to look at international human rights groups rankings and standards for actual facts, particularly about Venezuela, not the biased US media.
AIPAC:Israel Policy::militant exiles:Cuba Policy
p>We gave Castro a lot more grief than we ever gave Pinochet. A change in leadership in Cuba won’t mean much unless somebody in the US shows some leadership. Strange how the American economy depends on the nuclear-armed fake Communists in China, but we thumb our noses at those in Cuba.
gives us the license to reduce tensions and tamp down the hysterical rhetoric. I wouldn’t expect much until after the election of course but the next president will have a window of opportunity to adjust our policy after it has failed for so long. I also wonder if a Republican would have more or less license to take a new direction – like the Nixon goes to China analogy. If there was a Republican who may have the sack to buck his own right-wing on this it would be McCain, although he is supported by Cuban Republican Congresspeople Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen I think. Who knows. I hope he does not get the chance and either Clinton or Obama take up this opportunity.