Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Change Of Guard In Cuba

Albeit Temporarily

Finally, Fidel Castro handed over the reins of power to his brother due to a medical condition... (Dynastic politics in a communist country as well?)

Fidel Castro has been President of Cuba for 47 longgggggg years and is the only known leader for several generations of Cubans.

Cuba is one the last few remaining bastions of communism and it would be interesting to see what comes off of this power transfer. For anyone to rule the country for this long is quite unthinkable in this day and age. He might simply be the longest surviving political leader in power in anywhere in the world period.

I hope this change of guard brings Cuba out of isolation. That is badly needed for a country that has been isolated from the global economy for long.


  1. It should be interesting to watch Cuba... and Indeed a Fidel Castro has been there for a long time. There are advantage and disadvantages of having a leader to rule for a long time. No changes are likely to happen and the progress may be delayed. Anyhow a change has come for Cuba.

  2. Visu,

    I am very skeptical after seeing what is happening in Iraq and to some extent even what happened to USSR.

    Iraq - Inspite of all the atrocities, SH was able to rule the country and there was an economy..whatever it was worth. Look at it now? It's in Shambles. I have lost hopes on Iraq. Noone knows the actual casuality figures among the Iraqi's. I am not sure what is going to be left out ..after all these brutal killing on a daily basis?

    USSR - Broke to pieces. Where is the economy? What happened??

    I am an outsider - So, I really don't know the impact from an insider's stand point. But this is my opinion!

    - Democracy doesn't work everywhere. MHO - Even India needs a Tyrant ( Honest tyrant :) ) for the next say 10 years.!
    to bring it at par with China ( atleast !). I am sure all the Supporters of India would throw rock at me..but that has been my stand always!

  3. Visu,
    I agree with Narayanan venkittu with respect to democracy not working at all places, especially when forced upon them. But India has the potential to change democratically, though an iron hand may be helpful in bringing out the change in political system and corruption. Hope we could use the current growing economic strengths to bring about the change. Bottom line is when left alone sovereign countries will evolve themselves.

  4. Balaji
    47 years sounds too long..but then, we could have a debate / discussion on what is the right length..

    Narayanan & Lakshmi
    What is happening in Iraq is very tragic.. and we can have a separate discussion on that..

    My focus of the post isn't even which model of goverance is good.. dictatorship / communism / democracy.. but on two areas 1)length of a leader 2) Isolation from the Global Economy

    Welcome to my blog.. Thanks for your comment.. As you know, there are divergent views on your comment.. and the intentions of US..

  5. I am not hopeful that things in Cuba will change because of the following reasons. This is a temporary hand-over (and a guy who has ruled for 47 years is not going to let go just like that) and the brother Raul might not be that different either.

  6. Nithya
    Yes.. it is s temporary transfer but then again if it was really 'temporary'... Mr. Castro would not have really 'transferred' power.. It has been few days already and there was no transfer back.. So, I suspect, Mr.Castro is really ill.
    You may be right about Raul Castro.. He bas been behind F. Castro for long and might not be any different.. Only time will tell

    Cuba isolation may be US centric but several countries do follow the suit..
    Regardless, 47 years is too long for any one hang on to power.. What is needed is a breadth of fresh air and new blood at the leadership level.. Hope that happens..

  7. How many years did Jyoti Basu hold power in Bengal ? raman, have u visited Cuba ? The reason I ask is you are talking about oppression and some light at the end of tunnel as if you have gone there and seen life.

  8. raman,
    Instead of just replying sarcastically, you could have simply answered my question. Anyway looks like your exposure to cuba is thru this 1 million odd cubans who live in florida and the daily doses of propaganda pushed by US media. Good luck with ur "Ignorance is bliss Freedom". By your post it looks like you are probably in your 50s or 60s. I really feel sad to reply to you like this but your attitude just sucks plain and simple. Now go and spread freedom and democracy hanging on to the cotails of Bush. I'm pretty sure Cubans are waiting for Americans to come and liberate them just like the Iraqis did. As they say the converts are usually more vehement in their practise of a faith and you prove it.