Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Castro-good or bad, depends on who you talk to. I found an article on the BBC exploring possible outcomes following Castro's death. Some say big upheaval and violence, others say no, Raul (Fidel's brother) is poised to take over.
Here are the things in the article that frustrated me (I'll decline to comment on the good/bad debate, as I have no first hand knowledge):
In Washington, the Bush administration has appointed Caleb McCarry as "transition co-ordinator" for Cuba.
He says his job is to help Cubans "recover their freedom after 47 years of brutal dictatorship".
To achieve this, Mr McCarry has a budget of $59m to "hasten the transition" and to ensure that neither Raul Castro nor any of the other "pretenders", from Vice President Carlos Lage to Foreign Minister Perez Roque, automatically continue the current system.
We are providing support for a process of transition that helps Cubans recover their sovereignty
Caleb McCarry, US transition co-ordinator
"They are planning for a continued dictatorship," says Mr McCarry.
"We are providing support for a process of transition that helps Cubans recover their sovereignty and hold free and fair elections."
What? With our huge deficit, we've alloted $59 million not for needed humanitarian purposes (or US schools, infrastructure, retirement funds, etc etc etc), but to ensure an ascencion to power of someone of OUR liking? What the shit is that? Seriously. The arrogance kills me. Who are we (who've had no contact-and hence no working, first-hand knowledge) to decide who is best to rule the Cubans? Hell, we can't even get one decent candidate in our own damn country!
I'll end comments on the US idiocy here, as my pulse is already dangerously high.
Let's move on to the Cuban ex-pats, the ones chomping at the bit to get back to Cuba and right the wrongs they see done to them. They want to improve the island, improve the quality of life for the people there, yeah? Granted, the comments in the article probably did not come from a large sampling, but check out what was selected:
As well as these official initiatives, many in the Miami Cuban-American exile community are already dreaming of a return to Cuba.
These range from Lombardo Perez, who is drawing up plans for car dealerships throughout the island, to Jose Cancela, a media consultant who says he has pledges of up to a billion dollars from people interested in investing in the media of a non-Communist Cuba.
Fucking car dealerships? THAT is the extent of his big plans for his home country? Wow. Way to work to get life started again down there! Let me as you this, Lombardo: with what money will your cars be bought? A vast majority of the people there have nothing! Oh wait....I guess the (ruling?) elite could benefit...(thank god a stratification of social classes won't be greatly worsened)
Others in the Miami Cuban community are still hoping that the US will not wait for a natural end to Fidel Castro's days in power.
According to a recent poll, as many as one in three of those questioned said they would favour armed intervention by the US to bring about regime change in Cuba.
"How come the US went so many miles from our shores to get rid of a tyrant, and they don't understand the risk of having somebody spreading communism and violence around this hemisphere?" complains Remedios Diaz, a business woman who is one of the founders of the Cuban Liberty Council.
A valid question, really, especially given our recent exploits and the constant propaganda about Castro's evil actions. But wait! Remedios has more to say!
She looks forward to a day soon when she can market her products freely throughout Cuba, and is not worried if change there is brought about by force.
(My head is now bloodied and slightly cracked from its impacts with various objects within the apartment)
What she's basically saying (as far as I can tell, assuming her words haven't been butchered, as is possible) is that she doesn't care if people have to die, just open up that damn market so she can make more money!
You've got to be fucking kidding me. I mean seriously, to risk major bloodshed and loss of life just to make some money? It's not like that is a common occurance in this world (um....)
Let me end on a different, somewhat cheerier note:
To most though, the idea of armed conflict is the worst possible scenario for any transition after Castro.
Dissident voices in Cuba stress that there must be dialogue and reconciliation, and that changing Cuban society to a more open, Western-style democracy needs to be undertaken gradually.
For her part, National Assembly member Kenia Serrano sounds a warning on behalf of all those who still believe in Fidel Castro's revolution: "If there is an intervention, we will fight immediately.
"In every neighbourhood, in every corner of this country, we are going to have people ready to fight."
Patria o muerte, eh?