Much has been written since July 31, the day when Cuban President Fidel Castro temporarily transferred the reins of government to Vice-President Raul Castro.
Hard line Cuban exile extremists in Miami, their hearts filled with hate, danced on the streets with joy. They expected that with the Maximum Leader no longer running the island-nation, the population would “revolt” and that they would be asked to come back as “liberators.”
Dream on! Dream on!
Instead, what we have seen is an orderly transfer of power and not a transition to unbridled capitalism, the kind that Uncle Sam would like to re-impose on the island that was once run by a “democratic” president who had generous assistance from the likes of the American Ambassador and Meyer Lansky and Santos Trafficante.
I do not think that the Cuban people would like to see that kind of crowd come back. And I am sure that they would not like to see their health care and educational systems privatized for the benefit of Bush’s cronies. Cuba is not Iraq, and they don’t want any Halliburton’s.
Will there be change in Cuba, once Fidel enters the pages of the immortal Cuban history? In my opinion, yes there will be change, but it will be to make the system better, and those changes will come gradually and slowly. And what Uncle Sam is not going to like is that those changes will sprout in Havana, Santiago, Holguin, Las Tunas, Bayamo, Matanzas and Pinar del Rio and other Cuban cities, and will be enacted by the Cuban people themselves. The ill-conceived plans of the birds of prey of Washington D.C. and Miami will be deposited in a garbage can.
Cuba for the Cubans!
If the U.S. government was smart – and I have my doubts about that after seeing what they have done in Iraq – they would help instead of whine and criticize. What is needed is a twenty first century version of FDR’s Good Neighbor Policy. Repealing the embargo, the travel ban, and the reestablishment of normal diplomatic relations based on mutual respect are the first steps.