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Cuba after Castro

Interesting article here on what might be in store for Cuba as and when Fidel Castro finally dies. My hope, probably naive, is that that country finally gets a break and enjoys the fruits of free enterprise. One thing that makes me annoyed is whenever I hear of affluent Western travellers go on about how they dream of going to Cuba before it “gets spoiled by U.S.-led development”. Yes, I am sure all those crumbling houses in Hanava, all those ancient 1950s cars and cute old guys with no teeth look so, you know, authentic in contrast to the frightfully ghastly prosperity of Miami or for that matter, Hong Kong.

Like a good friend of mine, I am only going to Cuba when or if it becomes a shameless hotbet of capitalist vigour and not one minute before.

16 comments to Cuba after Castro

  • Julian Taylor

    No doubt once Cuba has been freed from the yoke of proletarianism the Hampstead & Highgate set will have to change their holiday destinations to Chavez’s Venezuela, although judging by BBC Radio 4′s sudden love affair with Iran this week I might presume they will start going to Tehran instead.

  • I just hope that more of fruits of free enterprise go to those who have endured 50 years of Castro’s rule in Cuba than go to those exiles in Miami who have should already have enjoyed 50 years of the fruits of free enterprise in the US.

  • RAB

    Ry Cooder did more for Cuba in one record
    than Castro has done in his whole 60 years.

    America- Lift the embargo
    it makes no sense.

  • Free enterprise, in name at least, is on the decline in Latin America. The sandalistas at National Public Radio have been rhapsodizing about the leftward trend in South American elections all month. Whoever comes after Fidel and Raul will likely not be Milton Friedman.

  • Free enterprise, in name at least, is on the decline in Latin America.

    Indeed. Mexico’s new president (elected by show of hands Saturday) is a leftist.

  • Freeman

    In the past few months there have been several reports that Cuba has done a deal with China to drill for oil in Cuba’s half of the 90 mile straight between Cuba and the Florida Keys. Many Americans are not happy with the thought that Cuba and China might be pumping “their” oil reserves, which is always possible with slant drilling. A successful large oil strike in the region could prolong the tension between Cuba and the US beyond the Castro era as well as causing difficulties between China and the US. As if we didn’t have enough to worry about, China may be about to replace the old USSR as an irritant on the US southern flank.

  • Uain

    “America lift the embargo, it makes no sense”

    Yeah, if your a blood sucking despotic socialist, it sure doesn’t. In the workers paradise, the workers would see no benefit of a lifted embargo, only the fascist fat cats and their limpid acolytes in New York and L.A.

    Quick, all you Castro groupies, get to Cuba soon so you can thrill to see al those nasty proletariat kept in their proper place.

  • guy herbert

    If you don’t want to go to Cuba – and I can’t say subsidising Castro appeals to me – you can still all contribute to opening the place up by making discreet enquiries of consular officials about business opportunities in the medium-term. Try a bit of capitalist subversion.

  • Dale Amon

    Yes, the embargo has been one of the more counterproductive statist polices. At a distance of 90 miles, how long would the purity of their socialist paradise last with the hordes of wealthy American tourists, the business ventures training managers in modern methods and giving them uppity ideas from their counterparts, the daily in-your-face wealth of their cousins across the water laid stark against the poverty of their own lives?

    I must believe Fidel found the US policy a relief and a respite and an opportunity for he and his friends to impliment their paradise undisturbed by outside influences.

    The embargo has long been nothing but US internal politics. It is a bone to buy the votes of the Cuban expats and of little real use in any other way.

  • Jso

    how long would the purity of their socialist paradise last with the hordes of wealthy American tourists

    I guess it would take a bit longer than a bullet from the end of a gun barrel to the heart of a “subversive capitalist sympathizer.”

    Criminals don’t tend to be nice. Dictators don’t get much negative publicity from our free press (for some crazy reason).

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Yes, I agree with Dale that the embargo is unlikely to work and a bit of subversion and seduction will work better (on the latter point, I am too much of a gentleman to mention the attributes of Cuban women).

  • I mostly agree with Dale’s analysis of the embargo, but one thing that’s never added up for me is why all the Cuban expats want it? Sure, flashback to the 60s and I get it: it’s revenge. But now that we’re all clear revenge isn’t working, and now that most people whose companies were nationalized etc. are dead or too old to care, where is all this opposition to lifting the embargo coming from? Surely those who made it big in Miami would love a chance to go back and flaunt it in front of the cadres, no? Is it just ingrained habit at this point? (Honest question, I have no bias here – just curious what people’s opinions are.)

  • Ah yes, ‘Hanava’. Beautiful city. Is it in the North or South of Cuba?

  • michael farris

    “I mostly agree with Dale’s analysis of the embargo, but one thing that’s never added up for me is why all the Cuban expats want it?”

    Having known a Miami Cuban or three, my answer would be ‘spite’ (or something close to it). They know in their heads that it probably helps keep Castro in power more that it hurts him (and certainly hurts everyday Cubans, including their relatives more than it hurts Castro) but giving it up would feel like a kind of defeat (certainly how it would be played in the Cuban media).

    My own opinion is that engagement almost always is better than non-engagement and a few scumbags benefitting is a small price to pay for the reward of faster overall change.

  • Paul Marks

    Doing business in Cuba (or even with Cuba) is a bad idea – they have no respect for property rights so you are likely to get ripped off (of course even much of non Communist Latin America is rather like that).

    The B.B.C. is not doing a we-love-Iran week – they are doing a whole season. All the crap one would expect (nasty oil companies did not give the Iranian government enough tax money for “their oil” [that it was the oil companies who found and developed the oil fields is not considered relevant], the revolutionary government overturned in 1953 were lovely people and Ike and Churchill were very wicked to help Iranians overthrow it and ………)

    Nor is just special shows. For example, the nomal Radio Four “Today” programme on Wednesday the President of Iran’s (i.e. the ex terrorist and present organizer of terrorism) speech was given respectful examination – President Bush’s speech (given on the same day to the U.N.) was, of course, ignored.

    Just as the 1200 (British time) Radio Four news totally ignored the landing of the Space Shuttle more than half an hour before – this was pro American story so it would not be dealt with till later (and only then in passing – even though nothing much happened in the news today).

    One good thing about the 1950′s cars (some of which are still indeed running after fifty years of hard usage) – it proves that the big thing of the American left in the 1950′s “planned obsolescense” (the doctrine that evil business built things to fall apart so that poor customers would have to buy more of them) was a lie.

    However, no doubt, this doctrine (like all of the left’s other doctrines) is still being taught in American colleges and in colleges around the world.

  • Uain

    Well Dale et. al.,
    Your naive faith in the integrity of western or US media, Academia, wealthy flakes who unite to affect USA foreign policy is indeed endearing. Sufffice it to say that an embargo on Cuba has been very helpful to keep the creep in his box. For Miami expats, it is much more than spite, since they mostly have relatives or friends who have sampled the hospitality of a Cuban prison as a political prisoner. Let me repeat, in a socialist hell hole like Cuba, the average person will see no benefit of a drop of the embargo.
    If you think capitalists would go their to subvert the rotten system, talk with US diplomats who have gone there and get pictures of their wives in the shower mailed to them to let them know how closely they are watched.

    Vive Le Embargo!