Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fidel Castro resigns

Fidel Castro has resigned as Cuba's president; his brother Raul takes his place. The wire story is here, and the full text of his letter of resignation is here. Go here for one account of his remarkable life and career. Castro's tenure lasted through some or all of the U.S. presidencies of these men, a few whom attempted to have him assassinated:

Dwight Eisenhower
John Kennedy
Lyndon Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush

That's nearly a fourth of all American presidents. 

The "winner" of the 2000 U.S. presidential election responded to the news with this gem:

"Eventually, this transition ought to lead to free and fair elections -- and I mean free, and I mean fair -- not these kind of staged elections that the Castro brothers try to foist off as true democracy."

I'm no expert on Cuba-America relations, but it seems to me that the exile community has been biting off its nose to spite its face for decades, the teeth in question being their fanatical hatred of Castro. Who would benefited most from early normalized relations with Cuba? Could it just possibly the ones who knew the island and had connections there? Is it possible that continual exposure to the benefits of democratic capitalism could have had affected Cuba more positively than invasions and assassination attempts? Just asking... 


Renegade Eye said...

People don't know that he offered compensation to companies that were expropriated. I think Castro was reluctantly socialist. If the US gave him a better deal, he wouldn't have gone to the Soviets. That doesn't apply to Raul and Che.

Raul wants the Chinese model. If oil is found in Cuba, I'm sure he'd break with Chavez.

I doubt the Cubans in Florida, support the embargo. If they were free of threats from terrorists like Posada, they would be for opening things up with Cuba.

Joannie said...

Regarding the comment by the current pres, when I heard "free and fair" I nearly choked. Could we talk about Florida, and maybe Ohio?