The Cuban Regime is that much closer to its inevitable end
Posted by E on February 19, 2008
So Fidel Castro has finally hopped off his self-imposed throne. Good riddance. Why is everyone acting like this is such a big deal? Ever since he practically keeled over last year, hardly anyone had seen him and frankly, I had my doubts that he hadn’t already gone the way of Mao – you know, stuffed with formaldehyde, encased in wax, and brought out between the hours of 9 to 5 to be on display in the Central Committee building.
World-wide, socialists are hopping around like surviving monkeys in a post-ebola village, trying to do damage control, snarkily retorting to anyone who would suggest this is the End of an Era, that “You see, the regime didn’t end with Fidel, you see…his brother will continue the legacy. So for all of you’s who thought this would be the end, it’s not, so…na-na-na-na-na!”
Ya, right. Cuba is now going to be passed into the shaky hands of a 76-year-old man whose only claim to fame is to have been begotten from the same loins that sprung forth our dear and beloved People’s Comrade Fidel. I’m sure that will certainly add a vote of confidence to the world.
So what’s going to happen? Absolutely nothing. For a couple weeks, months or years, anyway. Then, when the last old man to share in the glory of the trademarked Fidel has gone the way of his brother, the shit will hit the fan – as we all know, even ardent communists cannot resist the wild call of Power. In the mad scramble for succession, all those foreign companies that are investing in Cuba now will calmly and collectively trade in their bargaining chips.
This will not be a revolution of blood, fire and honour. I predict that Cuban communism will unravel slowly, muddily, one regulation after the other falling by the wayside of an unpaved road, until nobody will recognize it for what it was ever supposed to be.
I don’t understand why so many readers of my Cuban posts have assumed that since I am anti-Fidel dictatorship, I must a pro-US bourgeois capitalist pig. The reality is, I wholeheartedly wish for Cubans to have the same freedom and opportunities that most other countries take for granted. One day, I hope to see food in Cuban grocery stores, roads paved, and people with smiles on their faces, who are able to travel abroad, to study anywhere they want to, and who can read newspapers and use the internet as much as the rest of us.
Switching back to Castro for the last time. As he reflected on his glorious past, Fidel was quoted yesterday:
“My wishes have always been to discharge my duties to my last breath. That’s what I can offer. But, it would be a betrayal to my conscience to accept a responsibility requiring more mobility and dedication than I am physically able to offer. This I say devoid of all drama.”
The irony. With the end of this drama, another, more lukewarm one is about to begin. In these days of stupor and self-denial, nobody has the bandwidth anymore to carry out a full-fledged revolution.
This article from the New York Times depicts the sense of frustration on the streets of Havana today. Most people are not so much interested in socialist dogma, but about how the Communist system has failed them.
The bus system is a wreck, they say. Food is too expensive, they grouse. Why are hotels limited to foreigners? And why are there two currencies, one for foreigners and a far less useful one for Cubans?
It is those reforms that seem to matter most to Cubans, not a reshuffling — even a dramatic one like this — of the government’s organizational chart.
So, I bid you Adios, Fidel. The only question that remains is – are you picking your nose in the photo above, or are you giving us all the inconspicuous middle finger?