Skip to comments.Cuban exiles rejoice after Castro cedes presidency
Posted on 08/01/2006 12:52:27 PM PDT by Republicain
Cuban exiles reacted with exuberance at the news that Fidel Castro had temporarily ceded power to his brother late Monday night, taking to the streets, dancing and honking their car horns in celebration that decades of dictatorship in Cuba was coming to an end.
But today, the initial joy turned mostly to uncertainty as Cubans paused and considered the unanswered questions: why did Mr. Castro himself not appear to announce his illness? Was he alive or dead? What would the future bring for families with loved ones in Cuban prisons, or for those with executed relatives in the grave?
(Excerpt) Read more at iht.com ...
OK, ding dong the witch is dead but Is there any reason to think Raul will be any better? Even if so is there any reason to think the Cubans here will go back and for what? Cuba is devastated and will require decades of rebuilding.
::gets his dance on::
Yes. Calling oneself 'El Presidente' does not a president make.
Just ask Kerry and Obrador or Mexico!
As good Christians, we should pray for Fidel. May Jesus take him soon and do his will with him.
Raul is more radical than his brother. He became a communist before Fidel. The only hope is that with his age, unless Castro's son, "Fidelito" takes over, that he doesn't remain in power for long.
They probably want to go back to help rebuild the place.
I visited Cuba in December of 2002. It's a heartbreakingly beautiful place, and it has wonderfully hospitable people. I really enjoyed my trip but decided not to return after the big crackdown on dissidents in the following March. I'd convinced myself that Castro was pretty much a paper tiger dictator but in March I was rudely awakened.
It's true that the place is falling apart but Havana could be one of the world's most stunningly beautiful cities if the reconstruction is done well.
If you are so inclined, you can check out my photos here: The fabulous ruins of Cuba:
I'd love to be able to visit again under a healthy government and society, so I hope present Cubans and exiles can work something out for the good of everyone. It's going to be touchy since billions of dollars of expropriated property is involved. The people in it now aren't going to want to move, after decades, and the exiles who fled are going to want it back - and may be the only people with the capital to fix it up.
I don't think that shooting hostilities will break out, but it's not going to be pretty... look for political parties to appear along the lines of who left & who stayed.
Even if so is there any reason to think the Cubans here will go back and for what?
David, I've seen your pictures and they are quite stunning. I was in Cuba for a few days a long time ago and it looked pretty much like you dipicted. Wonderful people with a hateful government. By contrast I also visited Haiti and that place made Cuba look like paradise.
I seem to remember that Fidelito was seriously estranged from his father. Wasn't that particular wife of his pretty discontented with Castro?
I read a fairly comprehensive biography of Fidel and that seemed to be so.
I will say that I think Fidel really did try, with minimal cynicism, to make Communism work, and I give him credit for that. He took a lot from the economy from his personal use but not nearly as much as he could have. This all being said, in the end that didn't prevent his government from becoming a nasty dictatorship.
I'm glad I visited Cuba even though I supported an oppressive regime by doing so. You can't understand how bad things are unless you see them for yourself. In the end, the only way to keep a communist or socialist system is to create huge numbers of unfair rules to block human enterprise so that nobody becomes richer than their neighbor. Until you see how that works in practice, you don't understand it.
A really good example of this was restaurants. Nearly all Cuban restaurants are awful. Why? Because the government, in a bid to share in the profits, insists on selling them food purchased from the farmers at awful prices. So the farmers send their worst quality swill to the government, and the government sells it to the restaurants.
The most expensive places, at the very top end of the market, buy this food and sell it on the market for what little it can bring. Then they buy the good stuff from the private markets. But places that are not so expensive have to use it because their sales are counted against state food store purchases.
This produces a horribly distorted system where running a good restaurant you can be proud of is very difficult. And State restaurants are almost as "good" as private ones because they both use the same bad food as a base.
I rented a room in someone's house. The people I rented the room from became good friends and they would prepare good food for me by buying it from the market and preparing it themselves. But if they had opened a restaurant they would have had to serve the same swill as anyone else.
I think it's worth visiting a communist country to see what it's like. In a perverse sense it's too bad they're going the way of the dodo, because they will no longer serve as a warning sign for others. But in the end, I can't wish that people be enslaved just to provide that kind of entertainment. Only a Communist would be that cruel.
Cuba is a beautiful place and a wonderful nation with fantastic potential, and I look forward to seeing what it will become after Castro.
i visited the Philippines in February of this year, in a research trip to try and find out whether it would be a good place for me to move to shrink my cost of living.
I found that people were far more upbeat and less money oriented than they are in the US. I stayed at one place with a Filipina friend who happened to be the owner's best friend. Naturally the owner treated us like kings, feeing us and taking us around independently of the cost of the room.
When I left, I paid my room and drinks bill and offered an enormous tip - it was a bit more than my total bill for staying there. The owner refused it with a gentle smile, saying that she didn't want me to think Filipinas were mercernary!
There were things the Philippines had in common with Cuba. There are squatter areas that are very much like Cuban slums, because nobody owns the land and the person who builds the fastest keeps a claim in the property. Since these are not based on beautiful old Spanish architecture like housing in Cuba, they were just plain ugly. Toilet paper was only slightly less of a premium item than it was in Cuba.
But there was a zest and a vitality in the place that just didn't exist in Cuba. Crony capitalism, the system there, seems to impact people close to the top more than those close to the bottom. People work super-hard, more so than they did in Cuba, and generally reaped more in the way of rewards.
The Philippines has horrible problems, mainly in terms of a national attitude that is outrageously short term. But they're doing far better than Cuba and there are some institutions, such as shopping malls(*), that rival American ones in quality.
So I have seen more of the third world now, and I can conclude that a repressive country like Cuba is far worse than a simply corrupt country like the Philippines.
What i really wonder is where the better attitude came from. I'd rather live in Cuba than the US, as long as I can bring some US money along with me, because the people have an upbeat attitude that's 1000 times better than the mopy gloom I see here in the US.
(*) I would take a Robinsons center in the Philippines over a Simon center in Pittsburgh any day. Cleaner, better maintained, better service.
Only a few billion here and there
Interesting interview! I remember reading the reaction of an East German couple after they'd managed to get across the wall. They went to an upscale West German store and were overwhelmed by 300 types of bread! It confused them instead of gratifying them, which I thought was rather funny/sad.
I'd love to hear an elaboration on the MIG-25 - how was it better and worse?
I read an interesting analysis of Soviet weapons some years back which said that they were designed to be difficult, even painful, to use because then they could crank them out by the million on the cheap. American weapons, by contrast, were said to be comfortable, elegantly designed and very high quality, but some of the gizmos had trouble working, and we couldn't build enough of them to be effective.
I must say that recent wars seem to have vindicated the US approach. The gizmos worked a lot better than I'd heard they would, and we were able to vanquish our enemy with relative ease. I must say that I'm impressed by the work of our defense contractors nowadays. They seem to have done the job, despite the mid-80s skepticism.
Like they have a choice.
I'd rather live in Cuba than the US, as long as I can bring some US money along with me, because the people have an upbeat attitude that's 1000 times better than the mopy gloom I see here in the US.
whats stopping you?
That is a screamingly funny interview, yet sad in a way.
He seems to be making light of it himself, so to find it funny is to "laugh with him, not at him".
Correct. He looks like a piker compared to Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, who took over 684 million.
The big scandal with Castro is his strangulation of the economy to make it more egalitarian, not the money that he personally took.
Whoops! Typo due to absent-mindedness, I meant the Philippines :-).
Definitely not Cuba!
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