I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Post Castro Era

We've been through so many times when Fidel Castro was reported to be "on the way out" or "nearly dead" that they all seem like false alarms anymore. But at an impressively old age and failing health, it does now indeed seem that that the father of the Cuban revolution is heading, if not for the grave, at last toward retirement from actively governing Cuba. He's been a thorn in the side of Western leaders for my entire life, and I have no doubt that he's been the author of far more dirty deeds than many would care to think in his quest to keep power. But say what you will of Castro... he's the longest ruling leader of any nation alive today. That didn't happen by accident and the fact that he's still breathing in the face of so many attempts by everyone from United States presidents to the Mafia to try to kill him is nothing short of amazing.

But what happens in a post-Castro Cuba? They're right on our doorstep, so the question is certainly of interest to Americans. Unfortunately, it appears that Condi Rice has taken an interest in the situation following her spectacular success in solving all of the mideast conflicts.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday urged the Cuban people not to flee the island for Florida because of political uncertainty.

In brief remarks aired by U.S. government broadcast operations to the island, Rice promised the Cuban people humanitarian assistance when they begin "to chart a new course" after long years of communist rule.

"We encourage the people of Cuba to work at home for positive change," Rice said, signaling that the United States would not favor a mass exodus of the kind that Cubans undertook in 1980 and 1994.

"Clearly we believe that Cubans should stay in Cuba and be a part of what will be a transition to democracy," she said.

I'm sorry... what was that again?

"chart a new course?"

"work for positive change?"

"transition to democracy????????"

Yes, because that's just been working out so swimingly well for us everywhere else, eh? Here's something that a lot of people don't know about communism, folks. They don't have Junior Communist classes in school teaching people to hate freedom or to aspire to live the lives of slaves. Lots of people living in communist areas actually love the basic idea of communism and many have given their lives blood fighting to the death to defend it. The actual premise of communism, at least in theory, is something that many "people of the land" (read: the poor and powerless) can get behind. An idea of everyone being equal and working to support the body national. The root theory is that the whole is more than the sum of the parts, and if everyone contributes, everyone prospers.

Of course, in reality, communism falls apart because rulers inevitably wind up feeling like everyone's equal, but "some are more equal than others." It's just the nature of man. Not that other forms of government have tremendous track records either, mind you. But communism really suffers from that fact as a fatal flaw.

My point? The Cubans are a complex people who have long been in turmoil. They may choose to move into a new form of government. They may stick with the comfortable route of what they know and put a new Castro in power. In either event, let's let them decide for themselves and support their decision as long as they're not attacking anybody else, eh? Enough nationbuilding for one generation, people. We still suck at it. Let Cuba be Cuba and let's us focus on trying to be the good guys again.

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