Just back from 2 weeks outside of Havana ....
Posted: 14 November 2007 02:46 PM   [ Ignore ]
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When I was vacationing in Spain in the 1970s in Franco’s last months, you could feel the tension in the air.  The people were very concerned about the future.  As well, you could see the fear in the faces of the police, especially the Guadia Civil.
I noticed none of that in Cuba.  All semed to be business as usual.  I have a few Cuban friends with whom I can feel comfortable getting into light political discussions , and the consensus I reached is that they seem more concerned about what the US govt and Miami Cubans plan on doing than they are concerned about what their government will be like after Fidel is completely gone.

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Posted: 14 November 2007 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Interesting.

Yet another brilliant strategy by the Castro brothers.

Stick with the devil you know rather than the devil you don’t know.

Sad really.

At this rate, in 2050 someone from Fidel’s family will still be running Cuba.

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Posted: 14 November 2007 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I dont think its somethng that the Castros can bring about, but only cause to end if they bring changes that will negatively effect too many people.  Although we see that living standards (meaning both physical and mental) as being far too low for what we’d accept, a whole lot of people in Cuba who although not particularly happy with their lot, don’t see things as bad as we do. Sometimes this will be because they don’t weigh things like we do; other cases they lack the possibility to compare and decide.

As mentioned many are concerned about changes that US or Miami Cuban involvement might bring and balance what they know against an unknown which may bring them a better life or a worse life…  Remember the Cuban government makes sure they know what life was like for many under Batista, and how the US contributed to that and how most of teh people responsible took off to Florida in 1956 plus.

Mind you I’m not saying things are peachy now - far from it.

Anyway, thats teh view from here.

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Posted: 14 November 2007 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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If Castro has nothing to fear from his people, why not release political prisoners and allow free press. God forbid I even ask about free elections.

My point is that LOTS of changes can be made in Cuba by Castro that have nothing to do with the big bad US stepping in.

Anyway, thanks for the update. Good stuff.

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Posted: 14 November 2007 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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If Castro has nothing to fear from his people, why not release political prisoners and allow free press.
The castros have a lot to fear from their people.  If there were free elections, although I wouldnt write them off, am not sure they’d be elected either.  Depends on what “practical” alternatives are offered.  Easiest way for a dictatorship to stay in power is to lock up dissidents and ban free press. A lesson America’s ally, Pakistan is demonstrating right now.

God forbid I even ask about free elections.
Exactly

My point is that LOTS of changes can be made in Cuba by Castro that have nothing to do with the big bad US stepping in.
As has been pointed out many a time (I think you have too), the embargo has become such a convenient excuse for Castro and Co’s failure.  Personally I feel (and remember this is my opinion only), things in Cuba would be a whole lot better if the embargo didn’t exist, but would still be what i would call substandard because of the economic system in place.

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