Archive for February 21st, 2008

Farewell, Fidel

I feel like I’d be remiss in my duties as a Latin@ blogger if I don’t write something about Fidel Castro’s resignation from the presidency of Cuba. When I heard the news on Tuesday morning, I was neither happy nor sad; instead, I just got that feeling of realization that something truly historical has just happened. My knowledge of Castro and his reign in Cuba is too slim to really say much one way or another about the man, to condemn him or to laud him. I know he’s done bad, and I know he’s done good, and generally my feelings towards him and how he and his party have run Cuba these fifty odd years lean more towards the positive than the negative, but again, that’s a vague feeling that I feel is generally uninformed.

I can, however, say that I’m glad that Castro has left power peacefully (thus far) and on his own terms, and not on America’s terms. I mean, think about it – there must be tons of powerful men experiencing emotions ranging from disgruntlement to fury because they didn’t get to take Castro out, in any number of senses, before he stepped down voluntarily. I think that it’s a testament to the strength and the spirit of Cuban Revolution that it has managed to survive this long in defiance of the United States’ condemnation and attempts, subtle and not so subtle, at taking it down. ¡Saludos, Cuba!

Bush lost no time before prattling on about how he hopes for a “democratic process” for Cuba and that the U.S. will help the people of Cuba realize the blessings of liberty. Is that kinda like how the U.S. has helped the people of Iraq realize the blessings of liberty? Let’s hope not. Continuing to speak of Cuba, Bush said that as a part of a transition to so-called democracy, political prisoners there should be freed, since until then “will rot in prison and the human condition will remain pathetic in many cases.” Of course, this vision for Cuba stops at the walls of Guantanamo Bay, where hundreds of prisoners are being held indefinitely. Bush is totally cool with them rotting in prison, their human condition remaining pathetic.

The cloud of hypocrisy surrounding that man is so thick you could gag on it.

Seriously, though – it seems that every time the U.S. pushes for “democracy” somewhere else, they’re really pushing to twist the nation in question to serve American interests. I truly hope that, whatever shape the Cuban shift in power takes, it doesn’t lead to yet another nation being used and abused for the benefit of the insatiable United States.