Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Go Away for A Week... Part II (Cuba)

..and global events stumble all over themselves in a rush to happen.

Cuba: Fidel Castro steps aside, brother Raul glides in as acting dictator of America's closest enemy.

President Bush's speech, given from the bloodlands of Rwanda, was hopeful and optimistic as it seemed to hold the old Commadante en Jefe's resignation in the light of change, a step forward for the people of Cuba, the bellwether for the seedling of democratic reform to sprout roots, maybe even flourish. But the good President fails to understand that America and Cuba have been stepping to the Tango and that reform is a two party endeavor.

I certainly don't expect Pres. Bush to invoke a sudden flurry of policy that relaxes the current sanctions levied on Cuba. But I'm very much surprised that Pres. hopefuls Obama, Clinton and McCain haven't leapt on this sudden shift in Cuban power with the ferocity that it demands. Cleave the hostility between Cuba (a mere 90 miles offshore of Miami) and the US and bring America to the island state in the form of... geo-economic reform. Force Raul Castro and the Castro protege, Carlos Lage, to partake in bilateral talks, relieve the Cuban regime from it's essential "client state" status in regards to Venezuela and offer it a real, sovereign alternative. Free trade with the US. The Bolivarian nightmare that my favorite geo-political comic, Hugo Chavez, entails could come to be realized as the farce it truly is.


Ottavio (Otto) Marasco said...

On Cuba, where only talking of a succession not a transition, in fact, one that took place some time ago and, I might venture to suggest, there is nothing to indicate a move to democracy. Its 11 million people are plagued by low levels of disposable income and very high prices in a command economy with a single party system; hardly anything to get excited about. So where to for Cuba now? I foresee a gradual opening of its economy but with rigid political check; the early China model."

Jay@Soob said...

Hey Otto. I'd point out that nothing of the sort will happen until US policy changes from it's petrified Cold War status to that of a more conventional and realistic policy. You evoke China's slow transition to the quasi-capitalist state we see today. Very likely wouldn't have come about were it not for Nixon's visit (and re-affirmation of the Mainland as the "real" China vs Taiwan) and Clinton's Most Favored Nation offering that paved the way to China being geo-economicaly connected.

That aside, I agree that the transformation will be slow. But at the same time, free travel of Cuban ex-pats might well expedite such a transformation.