You fail to mention why the Castro revolution was successful in the first place. Since I’m not sure you read the Fontova link, let me repeat. Cuba was one of the richest countries in the world in 1958. Most notably it’s labor force was one of the most highly paid, besting half of Europe and all of LA. At that time, the Cuban people were looking for an end to political authoritarianism and corruption. What they got was something altogether different. It seems hardly likely that they have completely accepted the idea of now turning their country over to a cadre of neo-Batistaistas (if you’ll pardon the expression). Another way of saying this is that the “liberalization” may not be a Cuban version of glasnost, but, as the old expression goes, it’s hard to be half pregnant. Oh, and Cuba is not China. It’s really not necessary to go into an explanation of why. That being said, you are correct on the future direction that U.S. foreign policy should take vis a vis the evolving Cuba. The Cubans can find their own way back.
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1. This same nonsense has happened dozens of times in the past with similar results: initial movements towards liberalization followed by a kick in the teeth. After a few times a significant cynicism is the inevitable result.
2. The Castro brothers have a long history of making noises about making Cuba more attractive to investors. Said investors then flock to the island nation, invest money and build businesses. Then the Castro brothers shut everything down, nationalize all properties and steal anything not nailed down … and bring nail pullers for that.
3. Cuba is a wreck because of the Castro brothers. They can choose whatever economic model they want, it’ll still be a trainwreck because they’re involved.
4. America is the sole nation on Earth that doesn’t have open trade with Cuba. Yet America is Cuba’s largest single trading partner. That frankly tells you everything you need to know about Cuba, it’s government and it’s economy.
5. I’m unimpressed by the arguments given forth by the author.
“Same ole..same ole” from Mr Mead I’m afraid. Many were expecting something better than the hoary liberal mantra about “Castro secretly favoring the embargo.”
One major problem with that shrewd deduction: every convicted Castro agent currently serving time in U.S prisons for espionage (Ana Montes, the Alvarez couple, the Kendall-Myers couple )secretly promoted an END to the “embargo”–while undercover as agents.
If Castro “secretly wants it”, shouldn’t his agents have been secretly promoting it?
Just the same, I’m expecting Fidel to get the Nobel Peace Prize tomorrow. Mainly because they cannot give it to Obama twice running.
Count me among the Castor haters … but still, you make a lot of sense here, Mr. Mead.
For what it’s worth, I’d be inclined to follow your advise regarding Cuba.
castro wants the embargo lifted so he can borrow from the IMF and World Bank. That money will go into his swiss bank accounts and the US taxpayer will be on the hook for part of that. The left wing media will be thrilled because their darling will gain respectability. A Nobel prize may be in the works for Castro along with a Cy Young for Obama (He did throw out the first pitch)
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Just 2 things I want to say about this post and its comments:
1- With all respect, I believe Mr. Mead does not really know what marxism and comunism are about. The Cuban model is NOT comunism, any european capitalism is closer to the Marx’s model that the Cuban model (same goes for the “post-stalin” soviet union). Castro (or Fidel, as we cubans call him) took Marx’s name and self called comunist in order to gain protection from the ex-USSR, but not him or even the USSR were really following Marx`s ideas. They all implemented a Capitalism of State,were there is only one owner: the goverment.
2- Fidel wants and has always wanted the embargo to be there. He needs US to be his enemy, many facts in cuban history actually prove this. Just look for example at the political scenario inside the US when the airplanes were taken down in 1996 or when Alan Gross was imprisoned.
A very speculative but also perceptive piece. As speculations go, it deserves to be followed up. But in the right tone and on the right level. I’d like to see Puerto Rico’s top banana pay the Castro brothers
a visit–on suggestion of President Obama, of course.
And with instructions not to make it a session of lawyerese. Keep it light yet appetizing.
What about a slightly different scenario where Raúl Castro dies before Fidel, Chávez is out in 2012, and the “Special Period” generation takes the cuban streets or the Florida Strait?
Cuba is a floating Jack-in-the-box, and its crank is already turning; and nobody knows what a heck will pop up from it, or when.
Mr. Fontova is well known in the Cuban community as a [negative epithet deleted — ed]. [Undemonstrated assertion of incriminating fact deleted ed]
[Ed note: disagreement about facts welcomed here; attacks on the character of other commenters are not. There are plenty of sites on the internet that welcome ad hominem attacks. Via Meadia is trying a different approach.]