[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Cuba-Related Thought of the Day

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cuba-Related Thought of the Day

How many times have we heard smart and reasonable people make this remark as a way of explaining why the U.S./Cuba policy has failed:

"The castros have outlasted 10 U.S. Presidents!"

As Bill O'Reilly accurately pointed out last night (to paraphrase):

"It's easy to last 50 years in power on an island where the boot is pressed firmly against the neck of the people".


Blogger Steve said...

There is also the little detail left out that despite rights abuses, the bearded one is extremely popular in Cuba! He has the will of the vast majority of the people regardless of how misguided they may be and how loud the Cuban exile community is in the US.

By isolating him, we likely have added to his popularity through his defiance adding to his aura.

8:56 AM, April 16, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

What evidence do you have that supports your assertion that he has, in your words, the will of the vast majority of the people?

11:04 AM, April 16, 2009  
Blogger La Ventanita said...

Steve, even if that was true, it would only be due to the fact that they've known nothing else except the bearded one, and for a long time, and still today many are cut off from the real world.

And that's only referring to the popularity issue. I don't think he has the will of the people, unless of course you mean that he's taken control of the will of the people.

12:46 PM, April 16, 2009  
Blogger Steve said...

Robert, if you google "Fidel Castro popularity" you will find hundreds of references--but admittedly those could be spin-mastered just as reports of there being a widespread burning desire for "freedom" there. Quite simply, neither of us knows for sure what the masses really want. My experiences speaking to Cubans here, there and abroad have shown me that the vast majority of Cubans are camposinos or relatively simple people who have a great deal of pride in there leader and system certainly compared to how things were pre-Castro. How many immigrants to the US from Cuba are immigrants of economic opportunity not political oppression? Nobody knows for sure.

To both Robert and La Ventanita - should the US foster regime change when the people aren't in overwhelming numbers willing to risk their lives for it? I think the lesson from Iraq and elsewhere is that unless a political situation is incredibly horrific, most people in the world don't prefer "perilous freedom" at significant expense (personal and economic risk). Even if the people are "brainwashed" (which I don't deny) should we be offering them something that they probably wouldn't vote for? There is a huge irony here that actually underscores a shortcoming of democracy in that generally speaking there is a tendency for democracies to vote for fascism and loss of rights at the prospect of stability particularly in countries with a large underclass. Look at Russia, all of South America lately, Iran, for examples.

4:52 AM, April 17, 2009  

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