Rob Sequin | Havana Journal
You may find it hard to believe…
From the Australian Independent
Cuban troubles are fault of USA, Raul Castro’s daughter claims
The daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro has claimed the United States is responsible for her country’s economic difficulties.
Mariela Castro said today: “The Americans and their criminal trade embargo are to blame for a vast part of our economic problems.”
Speaking to Austrian daily Die Presse, the 48-year-old activist for the rights of homosexuals added: “But it’s true that the (Cuban) Revolution made mistakes. Me and my father want an open debate about these mistakes and further reforms to improve Cuban Socialism.”
Asked what she would chance in her home country, Castro said: “I’d wish more opportunities for critical but fair journalism and the abolishment of all travel restrictions.”
Castro stressed she was convinced Cuba will manage to correct the mistakes made during the current leaderships’ achievements ” to save the Revolution”.
She admitted that the failure of the Revolution and the demise of Cuban Socialism “cannot be ruled out completely” and said: “In that case, I’ll spend my twilight years by deploring the downfall of the Cuban Revolution.”
Castro claimed Cuba was “sick” of other states telling it what to do. She said: “Why should we change our laws only because foreign countries demand us to do so? (…) Cuba is not a dictatorship. The people can elect a parliamentary delegate or not.”
Castro further accused international media of “spreading many clichés which have nothing to do with the real Cuba.”
“We’ve got freedom of opinion. We can say what we think. We can support or oppose a government without going to jail,” she said.
Castro said she had not seen her uncle Fidel Castro since he fell sick some years ago.
She revealed: “I wonder like every other Cuban how he’s doing. My father never spoke about it with me. He only promised to tell me one day how badly he suffered during Fidel’s illness.”
and Fidel says… Cuban economic model doesn’t work
By Paul Haven | Canadian Press
Fidel Castro told a visiting American journalist that Cuba’s communist economic model doesn’t work, a rare comment on domestic affairs from a man who has conspicuously steered clear of local issues since stepping down four years ago.
The fact that things are not working efficiently on this cash-strapped Caribbean island is hardly news. Fidel’s brother Raul, the country’s president, has said the same thing repeatedly. But the blunt assessment by the father of Cuba’s 1959 revolution is sure to raise eyebrows.
Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, asked if Cuba’s economic system was still worth exporting to other countries, and Castro replied: “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore” Goldberg wrote Wednesday in a post on his Atlantic blog.
He said Castro made the comment casually over lunch following a long talk about the Middle East, and did not elaborate. The Cuban government had no immediate comment on Goldberg’s account.
Since stepping down from power in 2006, the ex-president has focused almost entirely on international affairs and said very little about Cuba and its politics, perhaps to limit the perception he is stepping on his brother’s toes.
Goldberg, who travelled to Cuba at Castro’s invitation last week to discuss a recent Atlantic article he wrote about Iran’s nuclear program, also reported on Tuesday that Castro questioned his own actions during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, including his recommendation to Soviet leaders that they use nuclear weapons against the United States.
Even after the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba has clung to its communist system.
The state controls well over 90 per cent of the economy, paying workers salaries of about $20 a month in return for free health care and education, and nearly free transportation and housing. At least a portion of every citizen’s food needs are sold to them through ration books at heavily subsidized prices.
President Raul Castro and others have instituted a series of limited economic reforms, and have warned Cubans that they need to start working harder and expecting less from the government. But the president has also made it clear he has no desire to depart from Cuba’s socialist system or embrace capitalism.
Fidel Castro stepped down temporarily in July 2006 due to a serious illness that nearly killed him.
He resigned permanently two years later, but remains head of the Communist Party. After staying almost entirely out of the spotlight for four years, he re-emerged in July and now speaks frequently about international affairs. He has been warning for weeks of the threat of a nuclear war over Iran.
Castro’s interview with Goldberg is the only one he has given to an American journalist since he left office.
—————————————- Havana Journal Comments—————————————-
Just five years ago Fidel would have blamed the US and Mariela would have blamed Cuba. I guess she is getting ready to be the new leader so she is practicing her propaganda?
How long can Cuba be broken and how broken can it become before everything just shuts down?