19 February 2008

¿El Fín?

Not really.

Fidel Castro's decision not to face "reelection" after 49 years in power will likely mean nothing for the people of Cuba, at least for the time being.

It has never been likely that Cuba would reform from the top down. Despite the decades-old embargo there is little incentive for Cuba's leaders to liberalize economically or politically in the dramatic way that many Cuban exiles hope for. This has left little room for citizen reformers in Cuba's tightly controlled society.

So what does this mean? Most people thing Fidel's brother Raul will assume control. but as this article explains, Raul may prefer to rule from behind the scenes. There are various potential candidates that would also promote a false idea of change, which could ease internal pressures on the transitional government.

This article from Pajamas Media agrees that little will change as a result of Fidel's resignation.

Fidel goes out a winner. Regardless of the state of the Cuban people, he is leaving on his own terms, thumbing his nose at America, and leaving his regime in place. U.S. policy towards Cuba has been a failure, and this can be traced quite clearly to the Kennedy Administration's failure to support the invasion force at the Bay of Pigs. Now that would have been a nice act of imperialism.

Now the Cubans will wait, as they have for so many years.

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