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. I am sure Rummi and Cheny will deamonize Chavez and Venuzela to take Castro's CUBA's slot in the axis of evil lineup.

    Yanks need to maintain their 'rogue's gallery' to support their private agenda which is suitable to Wall Street and born again religious zealots.

  4. 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.

  5. 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..

  6. 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.

  7. If we treat U.S as the world, Cuba was isolated; but I understand China, Russia and most of the European countries are having trade relations with Cuba and with regime change all these countries will be right out there to grab the opportunity for trade and commerce. None of those countries involved with Cuba have ventured in social activities that will boost the living standards of the people over there. I understand that the average wage of Cuban is $ 6 to $9 a month;and still the people of that country are passive and not willing to revolt against Cuban tyrant.

    Let us hope that Castro will go into oblivion and people over there will see the light at the end of tunnel and oppression.

  8. 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..

  9. 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.

  10. Karthik, Jyoti Basu was at the helm of West Bengal for a long time but what was his contribution to that state; I was in Bengal for 21 years and that state still lags behind in Industrial growth and in fact there is no growth since communists came to power; and I am in US for 23 years and Cuba being the neighboring state of US we hear and learn about Cuba and the living standards of Cubans. In Florida, the City of Miami has a population of 1 million cubans who fled Cuba to smell freedom.

    A salary of $6 to $9 per month is not enough to tell you what living standards the people of Cuba has? If it quacks like Duck and looks like Duck, it is a duck. Karthik seems to like regimes similar to Cuba and should move over there to smell freedom. Good luck Karthik.

  11. 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.