Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hands off Cuba: The best thing U.S. can do is lie low

Salt Lake Tribune

Tribune Editorial

Article Last Updated: 08/08/2006 07:05:54 PM MDT

The American invasion of Iraq now appears likely to facilitate a peaceful transition from a long tyranny to a stable and prosperous democracy.

In Cuba.

The fact that the United States military is pinned down and being rapidly depleted in Iraq and Afghanistan may be the only way that our government's promises not to invade Cuba in the wake of the power vacuum left by Fidel Castro's indisposition will be believed.

Or be true.

The 79-year-old Maximum Leader of Cuba, who has thumbed his nose at every U.S. president since Dwight Eisenhower, has been knocked out of action by an intestinal ailment requiring surgery. The island's propaganda machine promises a swift and total recovery, but friend and foe alike are actively contemplating what a post-Fidel Cuba might look like.

President Bush says that it should look like whatever the Cuban people want it to look like. And, by that, he apparently means the people who live in Cuba, not the half-century's worth of exiles who so dominate politics in South Florida.

That's good news. The last thing Cuba needs is another generation of leaders defined by their antipathy toward the Yankee capitalists who, in dim but accurate memory, once used Cuba as casino, brothel and plantation.

If there is to be a transition from Fidel-ism to market democracy, it must be supervised by the Cuban people and assisted, wherever possible, by people who don't come from the United States. Other Latin American nations should play a leading role, aided by their ancestral cousins in Spain.

Spain, after all, not only has strong ties to Cuba, it also has recent and successful experience in moving from dictatorship to democracy.

It will be the proper role of the United States government to lift travel and trade barriers to and from Cuba just as soon as Castro leaves his post, if not this life. Our leaders should believe their own propaganda that it is the old dictatorship, not the new government, from which Cubans wish to flee, and set aside worries about a new flood of refugees across the Straits of Florida.

Anything that smells of Wall Street expansionism will only delay the day Cuba becomes a free nation. The United States should lie low, and let Cuba open itself to the world on its own terms.

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JG comment: to call Cuba a "long tyrany" is typical nonsense of the corporate controlled American news media. Cuba must defend its independence and national sovereingty against the designs of Yankee imperialism. I am not convinced that Fidel Castro does not have the support of the Cuban people. To the American government, specially the one headed by Bush and his cabal of neocons, a dictator is defined as a head of state that not genuflect before the empire and kisses its posterior.

Other than the "long tirany" stuff, and the fact that the capitalist news media will never recognize that Cuba became a free nation on 1-1-1959, the editorial is fine.

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