Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Dear Fidel: please hurry up and croak already

I realize that I'm in no position to talk, especially considering the nature of my blog, but here goes: I'm starting to get sick of the Fidel Castro deathwatch.

A newly released 10 minute video shows Venezuelan leader (and the world's newest dictator) Hugo Chavez chatting amiably with a red, white and blue tracksuited Fidel, who reportedly looks "heavier" and "healthier" after spending the past six months in the hospital recovering from intestinal surgery last July.

My first thought about this was, "why does it seem like Chavez spends more time in Havana than he does in Caracas?" My second thought is, "hey, wait a second, how old is this footage, anyway?" since the most recent photos look an awful lot like pictures of a red, white and blue tracksuited Fidel taken back in August. The Cuban government classifies news of Fidel's health as a state secret, and given the Communist dictatorship's record on misinformation and propaganda, it's entirely plausible that this "new footage" is old footage meant to stave off concerns that el caudillo may die at any moment. It's even possible he actually is recovering. Who knows at this point?

Not me, and frankly, I'm losing patience with the entire saga. Even if he does recover, does anyone expect that the 80 year old Fidel will take back the reins of power from his only-slightly-less elderly brother, Raúl? Absolutely not.

Cuba failed to take notice when the collapse of the Soviet Union sank all of its other client states, largely because of the personal will of Fidel Castro. It should have, and the dismal state of the Cuban economy, once kept afloat by Soviet sugar subsidies, is in such a dismal condition that Cubans are fleeing to Haiti. You can't buck history forever, and once Fidel's gone, it's a sure bet that whatever regime is left in charge will start dismantling Fidel's dinosaur state piece by piece. They're just waiting, respectfully, for the hero of la revolución to kick the bucket before they do it.

I'm waiting impatiently, too. So Fidel, please - do us all a favor and just croak already so that Cuba may live again. Thanks.

UPDATE: Time is running out, so VOTE for the next Top 10 dictator to be profiled. The polls will be closed next Monday!


leftside said...

Economy in a dismal state? Fleeing to Haiti? Where do you get this stuff?

For the record, Cuba has the fastest growing economy in Latin America at the moment - 12.5%. Unemployment is 1.5% and most have had their wages doubled in the last 2 years. And as far as fleeing, did you know that nearly twice as many people flee from the island of Hispanola, where capitalism has apparently thrived, than from Cuba (US Coast Guard interdiction stats)? Naw I wouldn't expect facts to interfere with anyone's understanding of Cuba.

Anonymous said...

Well Wiki isnt a Marxist site and their stats for Cuba say it's growth is 7%. Thats pretty good certainly tourism is a major factor, but other areas such as agriculture and industry have picked up I think Cuba also struck oil awhile back.

Other Wiki stats on Cuba:

GDP per capita $11.000 (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line 1% (2006 est)

Unemployment 1.9% (2007 est.)

Inflation (CPI) 3.6% (2007 est.)

Cuba is doing ok by Latin American standards their economy is hardly moribund, the country weathered the 90 crisis and the political system is stable so it’s likely to follow the Chinese post-Mao model. A one party state with a collative leadership of top officials.

So the rather odious (lets be honest here) ‘’Cuban‘’-Americans should not get their hopes up about a ‘’grand returning’’. Frankly they’d do more harm than good and would likely wind up as agents of US influence turning Cuba back into what it was prior to 1959 USA offshore brothel, casino & sugar supplier