Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Castro Replaced By Castro

Fidel Castro, who is 81, has finally stepped down as President of Cuba for health reasons. His brother Raul, who has been acting President, will take his place. Raul was not elected-- not by the people, nor by the rubber-stamping parliament-- but hand-picked by his own brother. Like all dictatorships, I guess, politics is a family affair.

It will be interesting to see if Raul can hold on to power. Fidel possessed a forceful personality, a charisma, that allowed him to lead a country on shear willpower alone. Raul, on the other hand, is the complete opposite: a heartless, soulless technocrat. Raul is also 76 years-old, so it's very doubtful he'll last very long. Regardless, Cuba will soon have to deal with a post-Castro world.

And, hopefully, the United States will stop acting like an ass and finally normalize relations with Cuba! Republicans are beholden to the Cuban community as a vote bank, so I can understand their obstinate but foolish position; but Democrats should muster the courage to say that enough is enough. Communism is dead. Cuba ceased to be a threat when the Soviet Union collapsed. So why keep up pretenses?