Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fidel Castro bows out

With Fidel Castro formally bowing out as President of Cuba (or dictator of Cuba) it brings to an end an era stretching back to the fifties. Castro was the great survivor, around since before Kennedy became president and a thorn in the side of successive US Presidents’.

Having visited Cuba at the beginning of 2006, Fidel Castro was firmly in control though it was quite clear that his era was drawing to a close. During my time in Cuba, a massive demonstration took place along the Malecon leading up to the American Special Interest Section (i.e. the American Embassy but as they do not have diplomatic relations it's not an embassy) which was flashing pro-democracy messages. It was the biggest demonstration I'd ever seen and it was a wonderful and very colourful display even if the marching bands started playing at 3am in the morning (and woke me up as a consequence). It was addressed by Fidel himself who was still in full-flow with the rhetoric as strong as ever. Looking back, it was probably one of the last major demonstrations to be addressed by Fidel but from the chanting it was clear he was firmly in control.

My view of Cuba under Castro is that whilst it performs well in education and health, the infrastructure of the country is falling apart and economically it's in a state. By no means is it the poorest country in the world and in recent years Chavez has bankrolled the country, but it's quite clear that the revolution despite all the fervour has long run out of steam. Deep down many of the people want change though one thing they don’t want to see is becoming a puppet nation of the US like it was prior to the revolution.

Cuba seeks to blame many of it woes on the US embargo, whilst I think the embargo is unacceptable, many of the problems in the country are more deep-routed and its used as a convenient excuse. If the embargo was lifted tomorrow and I expect its days are numbered; the country will not change overnight and change will be gradual.

2009 will see the 50th anniversary of the revolution and it'll no doubt spark huge celebrations. Beyond that, the regimes days are probably numbered and I expect it will go down the democracy line though it may take the demise of Raul to happen. Cuba will change and new leaders will come to the fore and bring this country forward from its long stagnation. This is a fantastic country and hopefully it will see change in the not too distant future.


Anonymous USpace said...

Interesting angle. Cool. Castro is human garbage who has killed thousands of Cubans in his failed pursuit of a communist paradise.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
Castro was BRILLIANT

like Marx, Lenin and Mao
he helped redefine EVIL

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
celebrities are GUILTY

of having talent and luck
so they must praise dictators

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never admit you were wrong

Communism’s FANTASTIC
BEST false ideology

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
keep your people poor

deny them decent health care
convince them they have it GREAT

Fidel Castro
murderous tyrant
- fools' hero

communist freedom killer
imprisons many poets...




3:18 am  

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