Monday, August 14, 2006

All Castro, all the time

Are there no other dictators in the news lately? I almost feel that I'm being unfair to Fidel Castro, who spent his 80th birthday in a hospital bed, recovering from intestinal surgery.

Never one to miss a photo opportunity with the old man, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez flew to Havana to visit his ailing political role model and wish him well. It's nice to see that some romances, however loathesome, are built to last. Here's hoping that Godzilla rises from the sea and stamps both of them out like a cigarette butt.

Speaking of Chavez, would anyone like to speculate how the infusion of the Venezuelan petrodollars keeping the flyblown carcass of Cuba's economy afloat is going to complicate the fight for succession when Fidel kicks the bucket? No sane person would suggest that Raul Castro would risk losing Hugo's precious economic assistance by daring to ease political pressure on internal dissidents, liberalize trade, or seek better relations with the United States. More to the point, when the elderly Raul dies, who plays kingmaker? There is no apparent chain of succession after the younger Castro - a situation that puts Chavez in control until his oil money runs out, or better yet, is deposed in a coup himself.

Now seriously, I'm getting bored with the gruesome twosome. What has Robert Mugabe been up to lately?

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