Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Meet the New Boss; Same as the Old Boss

So, word has come out of Cuba that Fidel Castro is stepping down as el Presidente for life. After all, since he took over Cuba 49 years ago, he never one relinquished his firm grip on the reins of power. His brother, Raul, is going to take over.

Well, considering that Fidel has been in poor health (and often speculated that he's already well and truly dead for some time now), this just confirms that Fidel isn't running the show. Since 2006, there have been signs that Fidel is no longer in charge of Cuba and that day to day administration of Cuba was left to others - Raul in particular.

Hot Air raises one of the more interesting questions of the day. Now that Fidel has exited stage left, should the US now consider opening the floodgates on trade, tourism and lift the embargo. It would be a real eye opener for the leftists who think that Cuba is some kind of paradise and be disabused of that notion with the sad reality that Cuba is one of the worst kind of hellholes on the planet because Castro and his cronies ran the place into the ground.

Babalu Blog has Castro's letter of "resignation."

Let's just remember that Castro's cronies are still in charge and Raul has been in de facto charge of Cuba since late 2006.

We may just have to wait a little bit longer for this photo to come to fruition (warning - this is a hoaxed photo and therefore is only wishful thinking that Cuba's long national nightmare can soon come to an end - though the death watch is once again on):

Michelle Malkin
and Fausta have a great roundup of reaction, and notes the fawning reaction of some of the press worldwide to Castro's ability to survive as one of the world's oldest dictators.

Lest anyone think that the situation is going to improve overnight, Raul is little different from his brother and while some think that he's going to take on the mantle of reformer, Cuba doesn't need reform - it needs to scrap its totalitarian and socialist policies that have left its people wanting for everything.

Jammie has more on the leftist drivel praising one of the world's worst dictators. Ed Driscoll also weighs in.

Folks down in South Florida were approaching this latest news with cautious optimism, and many were making the point I did above:
'In a year or so, I think, we will see some change,'' Luis Garcia, 75, said as he stood in front of the Versailles Restaurant, a landmark in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. ``Fidel no longer has the ability to run a country. He's very ill.''

Regina Botello, another customer at the restaurant, said: ``It's the best thing that could have happened on this 19th of February. It's the first step toward real change.''

Others were more skeptical.

''The only sign of change will come when he dies,'' Roberto Perez, who left the island nearly 40 years ago, said of Castro. ``That's the only thing that matters.''

Several prominent members of the exile community urged Cuban Americans to dismiss the announcement as largely meaningless.

''This is nothing but a show the Havana governnent has put on to move the media and confuse the people of Cuba,'' said Miguel Saavedra, head of the anti-Castro group Vigilia Mambisa. ``The only change would be an overthrow of the system, a complete uprooting of the regime.''

Death by 1000 papercuts has 15 selected quotes from Castro.

Newsbusters catches the Times fawning. Sweetness and Light notes that the AP entertains a caveat on calling Castro a dictator. Others weighing in on what this all means for the US, for Cubans, and Latin America include: Don Surber, Jules Crittenden, Gateway Pundit, Sister Toldjah.

For a change I find myself largely in agreement with NJ Senator Bob Menendez (D):
"To just embrace Raul would be a huge mistake. All we'd be doing is embracing another dictator," said Menendez, a Democrat who was born to parents who emigrated from Cuba.

"This Castro is the same as the other in terms of philosophy, having been part of a dictatorship," said Menendez, who was mayor of Union City, part of a northern New Jersey area that has the nation's largest concentration of Cuban-Americans after Miami.

"Raul does not have the same relationship with the Cuban people as Fidel had," he said. "He has more blood on his hands than Fidel has. In that respect, it is not a change we would love to see. It's an opportunity for the U.S. and the world to challenge Raul, an opportunity to move in a different way."
Fidel's got plenty of blood on his hands, but Raul has been doing a most capable job of running the Cuban gulag. Meanwhile, another Cuban-born New Jersey politician weighs in with the following:
A Cuban-born New Jersey congressman, Rep. Albio Sires, said he hoped the departure of Fidel Castro will lead to democratic reform in Cuba.

"The Cuban people will be disappointed if change doesn't come out of this," said Sires, who was mayor of West New York, part of the Cuban-American enclave. "I don't think this will change life for Cubans very much, unless some reforms are taken."
Sires thinks that reform will get the job done. He's seriously underestimating how rotten to the core the Cuban political system truly is.

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Rosemary's Thoughts, third world county, Right Truth, The World According to Carl, Shadowscope, The Pink Flamingo, Right Voices, The Yankee Sailor, and , thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Still more evidence that the media is going out of its way to put lipstick on the pig known as Castro. So, apparently universal health care and free education is sufficient to make you ignore human rights abuses up the ying yang. Stay classy CNN. We know how you got your access in places like Saddam's Iraq, which included cozying up to dictators and thugs by ignoring the real abuses and sugarcoating dictatorships and thugocracies.

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