20 February 2008

Fidel resigns

The news today is, of course, Fidel Castro's resignation, or rather his announcement that he won't seek to retake the power he left in his brother's hands when he got ill two years ago. The headlines are full of Cuba, as are the TV broadcasts.

It's only 8:13 AM and I'm already sick of all the speculation. I've just read some idealized Marxist version of Fidel's ethics and values — "the true human being does not ask on which side life is better, but on which side duty lies" — from a guy who seems to forget that such lovely values lose their meaning if they're imposed on the people by a dictator, no matter how picturesque or how romantic his ideas.

During breakfast I heard a top U.S. government official at CNN explaining that Fidel's evil remains even if he's not in power anymore, so there's no reason to lift the blockade on Cuba, which is intended to deny resources to its Communist regime. With a straight face this guy explained that the Cuban administration is evil because it doesn't let people choose their own authorities and puts people in jail if they don't agree with the government, so it's an enemy of the United States. Hello? China? Pakistan? Saudi Arabia? It seems you have to be small and powerless to be a true enemy of the U.S. You can't possibly be a threat to the U.S. if you're the world's largest exporter of oil, if you have the largest population of cheap labourers and the largest market for commodities, or if you have nuclear bombs. No, it takes a tiny island with a third of the population of California and almost no natural resources to be an enemy to the world's only remaining superpower!

Fidel or not, doesn't anybody realize that if the blockade was lifted Cuba would be inundated with useless capitalist gadgets and trinkets, and that the ensuing consumerist fever would wash away the (apparently very dangerous) ideals of the revolution in less than one generation? I mean, even China came to acknowledge private property! The blockade has been doing a favour to Castro for almost 50 years.

The U.S. should take this chance to flaunt its power, lift the blockade and let Fidel and Raúl Castro deal with it during this, their weakest moment. But doing it would be political suicide. Let's see what happens after the elections...

1 comment:

  1. My guess the North American administration has its eye on two significant factors: 1. history, America will never forgive Cuba for being defeated and forced off the island for 50 years, leaving it independently outside of US hegemony; and 2. keeping friendly with the expatriot Cuban community in America, who are undoubtedly waiting to carve up that nation when the last of the Castro dynasty falls.

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