Friday, January 19, 2007

Cuba Libre?

Hugo Chavez has admitted that Castro is dying, having spoken to him recently. "Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Friday that Fidel Castro is 'battling for his life' and said he spoke with the Cuban leader for nearly half an hour several days ago". The Associated Press says the post-Castro era has already begun, and power long in the hands of a collective leadership. "Collective leadership" in most Marxist countries, is a phrase that signals the start of a steel cage death match. Cuba may be starting the post-Castro era, but American political debate has not yet begun to address what to do when events begun long ago with the fall of Batista reach their final crescendo.

Commentary

Castro may be going by Chavez is itching to fill his shoes and is even now grasping at whatever assets he can get. Since experience shows that assets "nationalized" by Latin American Marxist dictators are confiscated and never returned, Tigerhawk offers this advice in half-jest to managers. "Just blow it up."

20 Comments:

Blogger Wu Wei said...

I hope the CIA is collecting information, but it seems that the best thing will be to wait for the Cuban government to change and stabilize. It is pretty much a given that Fidel's brother will take over, but it is likely that some sort of new process or cabinet government will form, maybe even open Communist party elections.

Fidel is like Arafat was, one of the last true dictators that can never be replaced while alive, and that no one can overrule. Fidel's brother won't have the same safety and freedom.

No matter what happens initially, there will be more opportunity for the US than with Fidel alive.

1/19/2007 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

Literally the only way that the US can avoid getting tagged by the rest of the world as responsible for whatever debacle follows the collapse of Cuban communism is to do what we did with the Soviet Union - stand back and let it fall in on itself.

We can then choose to be helpful to whatever regime emerges, hopefully one more like say Poland than Russia.

There is little upside to getting more involved than that with Spanish-speaking third world countries (except for the special case of Mexico, and that's only because of the border).

1/19/2007 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

meme chose,

Despite the fact that Cuba is the Left's mess, the press will assign responsibility for fixing things to the US. Two or three possible scenarios may emerge if a power struggle convulses Cuba. First, there may be a flood of refugee, some of them former regime elements. Second, there may be a humanitarian crisis because Cuba probably has no appreciable reserves of anything. Third, there may intervention in the internal power struggle. Chavez, perhaps Iran. Maybe Arab money. Chaos in Cuba will attract all the bad guys of the world. Then there will be the exile groups who will be raring to go in. The time to figure it out is now.

1/19/2007 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Pat Patterson said...

At some point there will a major incident whether from some kind of anti-government demonstration, food riot or even mass attempts at leaving Cuba. Then the Cuban government will face the decision of firing on its own people. East Germany found that its own soldiers wouldn't obey such and order and the army actually threatened police units that were willing to shoot. With the total number of Cuban immigrants in the US and relatives still in Cuba I suspect that the army will not stay loyal but the security forces will.

1/19/2007 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

"There will be no division among Cuban revolutionaries," Lage said at a belated 80th birthday celebration that Castro was too sick to attend. "There will be no ambitions, no egos."

Is this pretense at a unified front, a dash of political saltpeter for the locals or Transcendental Zenmunism? And why do we bother with what they purportedly believe, when we have a spiritually yoked Cuba in league with Jesús Christo Chavez, the 12th Imam Persians, Euro high Socialists, Chinese Opportunists, Russian Orthodox Atheists, Marxist Africans and Islamist terror-Caliphatists everywhere, while western liberal Secularists love Fidel and fret over 'Born Again' America? Should we believe anybody’s ideology to be the point or merely a means to mean ends?

The power grab currently happening in Latin America does feel less idealistic than self-serving, though, and, given how in most of the world mammon and the material trump trumped-up belief almost always and amen, we can work with that. We should continue to go after our hemisphere’s totalitarian trademarked True-Believer tinpot leaders through their wallets with select punitive sanctions, while simultaneously luring them into the capitalistic fold with trade incentives, such as giving post-Castro Cuba the talented pinko dingbat Harry Belafonte in exchange for importing its cigars, and Jimmy Carter the demi-god demagogue to his best friend Hugo in exchange for Citgo.

While Latin American revolutionaries are expected not to exhibit ego or ambition over dead leaders in untoward displays of political initiative or individualism, America likewise has an imperative to sacrifice and invest in the Chavez/post-Castro axis with human capital and liberal dreams. Fortunately for us, Redford and Streisand also seem to be fond of Havana and Caracas.

1/19/2007 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger epictetus said...

Send in troops. Bring in international monitors. Supervise an immediate vote for them to determine whether they want to become the 51st state or not.

If not, leave immediately and provide no funds or other assistance. If yes, provide everything they need.

We've been screwing around with this country for 100 years. Why? Because it's 112 miles from Florida. It falls apart. We go in. We provide some temporary "fix." We leave. What's the point? If we are going to mess around there, and we are, let's bring it to conclusion this time.

1/20/2007 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger DaveK said...

It will be most interesting to watch US-Cuba relations following the passing of Fidel (whenever that might eventually happen). I, for one, think that the US policy has been, at all public levels, very irrational, at least compared to how we have dealt with other communist dictators.

To me, the only rational explanation for our absolutely inflexible approach to dealing with Fidel is that we are holding a very serious grudge against the man. And not just about a little debacle like the Bay of Pigs.

And here, I get into serious speculation, without any evidence to support my pet conspiracy theory... And that is that Fidel was up to his eyeballs in the Kennedy asassination, the US Government at very high levels knows about it, but for some reason they cannot publicly make a case. Perhaps they are protecting a high-level informer? Perhaps there is something very embarassing to our government about how the information was obtained?

Who knows... Anyway, it is just my private conspiracy theory to explain our relations with Fidel. Unfortunately, we may never know the truth.

Ah well, such are conspiracy theories!

Just my $.002
DaveK

1/20/2007 10:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the communist apparatus falls apart, and it will eventually, the Cuban people will replace it with something not to our liking, and hopefully not to Chavez's liking either. We can't expect a vibrant democracy to form magically in the ashes of Cuba's current repressive regime. They will have their struggles, and the best we can do is to keep Chavez and his henchmen out of Cuba. Let the Cubans decide for themselves, and we will have a partner, not an adversary. And if they need our help they can certainly ask. Of course half of South Florida will be in Havana 5 minutes after the communists leave, so perhaps we won't need to do much! If this sounds tentative, so be it. Our record of nation building is not impressive, especially in light of our bumbling in Iraq.

1/20/2007 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Good thread right up to the 'trade Carter for Citgo' proposal. That won't fly--it's WAY overpriced. A Citgo service station maybe, and be willing to settle for a squee-jee bucket and a restroom doorknob.

1/20/2007 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

LOL, Buddy! Nothing gets past you, and right you are.

1/20/2007 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger foxenburg said...

well, the good news is that there's no indication that cubans like beheading one another, blowing themselves up or otherwise engaging in mass mayhem; latin temperament aside, they seem rational people. compared with iraq it ought to be a doddle to keep the lid on things.

1/20/2007 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

My understanding is that the reason we haven't tried to topple Castro stems from the settlement to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Our terms with the Soviets included us not trying to topple Cuba so long as Castro lived. Even though the Soviets are gone, the price of breaking that promise remains high.

1/20/2007 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

It's not a conspiracy. My understanding is that it was part of our settlement to the Cuban Missile Crisis. So long as Castro lives, we will not try to overthrow the communists in Cuba. For that reason, it makes a great deal of difference whether or not he is alive, even if he is a vegetable.

1/20/2007 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger John Samford said...

The American political system is about to undergo it's greatest trial. The forthcoming election combined with the 5th column assault by Isamic radicals will be the greatest test America has faced in it's 230 years of existance.
The Islamofascists actually have a canidate in this election. So do the Chinese (the Clintons were bought and paid for some time back, remember algore and his bag with 300,000 cash?). It's gonna be a brawl.

1/20/2007 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

FoxNews has a heavily-promoted special on the tube tonight. It's about Hezbollah, and Hez inside USA.

1/20/2007 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

At the core of Communism is criminality - theft and murder in the name of the State. Everyone knows this and so everyone thinks like a criminal. The more Communist a place is, the bigger basket case it is when things come unzipped. Places such as Czech and Sloavk republics and Poland never really accepted Communism and got along pretty well after the Warsaw Pact dissolved. East Germany was a more Communist place and had to be put on 100% life support by West Germany. The Chicoms renounced Marxism in 1984 and have gotten along pretty well. Russia is struggling. Albania was the most Communist place anywhere and turned into a total basketcase in about 15 min; it's still that way.

Cuba is probably somewhere between East Germany and Albania and may be saved only by the Latin tendancy to not work too hard at anything. And it's going to be fun watching Chavez try to put the place on 100% life support, South American Sytle.

1/20/2007 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Well said, rwe, although, some of the "Latins" I've seen in the US work pretty hard. To me, systemic disincentives are the enemy, whether from Communist or American-donk utopian engineering.

1/20/2007 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

The comments are pretty amazing and subpar.

1. We have our silly embargo and refusal to let Americans visit, purely because American democracy is uniquely vulnerable to having it's foreign policy hijacked against the nations interests by rich and influential ethnics (see us work to make Chinese ICBMs more reliable in return for money, genuflect to whatever Israel wants for a taste of the Jewish oodles of wealth, make Saudis "special expidited rubberstamp visa" status.

2. Latin America has taken a sharp turn to the Left, after crony capitalism failed. In the 90s, Castroos death might have actually triggered change. Now we will likely see the idiotic "one man is behind it all!" cliche meet the same fate as Saddam.. Castro had the genius to export a few million malcontents who wouldn't fight for freedom. It solidified his rule to be rid of the "cut n' runner Cubanos. Castro dies, the Revolution continues.

3. Send in troops. Bring in international monitors. Supervise an immediate vote for them to determine whether they want to become the 51st state or not.

If not, leave immediately and provide no funds or other assistance.


Sorry, epictetus, but invading Cuba as a sort of "splendid" war that the same tactics failed to work in reforming Iraq? It's just nutty. And why would we want a people that could give the French lessens in diplomatic circle backstabbing made the 51st state?

1/20/2007 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

"Supervise an immediate vote for them to determine whether they want to become the 51st state or not."

If Cuba becomes the 51st state, does China still get the offshore oil? We're good guys, you know...

1/20/2007 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger epictetus said...

Cedarford,

To my knowledge, we never tried to annex Iraq. Take a look at a map for goodness sakes, see any other differences between the two countries?

Did our "splendid" war with Mexico and the "splendid" war Polk threatened Britain with result in a territorial addition larger than the Louisiana purchase or not? Is Hawaii a state or not? How did we get the Panama canal (until Clinton gave it away that is)?

Now, you could argue that this is impossible in this day and age. Perhaps it is. Perhaps the only way to do it now is to give the people affected the option of annexing themselves. That seems to me a better option then letting Cuba remain a hellhole while the people flee here.

To your contention that the Cuban people are undesirable, I guess my question would be, just the ones in Cuba or the ones here as well?

db2m,

Of course we would follow the will of the Cuban people in this regard. And of course they would want to renegotiate everything.

1/21/2007 07:02:00 AM  

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