July 17, 2005

Que Sera, Sera!

“Cuba isn’t going to open up the way Eastern Europe did,” says Jamie Suchlicki, director of the Institute of Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami, in the AP article by Todd Lewan published in June 2005. “Cuba will probably act more like China” he predicts, speculating that it may take up to ten years after Castro’s death for true change in U.S. policy towards the island to emerge.

An essay by Suchlicki, “Castro’s Cuba: Continuity Instead of Change,” appears in the book “Cuba: The Contours of Change,” which explores the practical, political and financial issues surrounding the possible end of the embargo against Cuba.

“Even after the island’s leadership passes out of Fidel’s hands,” writes Suchlicki, “Cuba’s transition will almost certainly be slow and painful.” He adds, “The possibility of regime continuity seems stronger for Cuba than it has been for other communist states.” He asserts that “some Cubans may accept Castroism without Castro because of the threat of force; others because they fear loosing the gains in housing, health and education they have received in the past; still others because of anti-Americanism or commitment to a Marxist or nationalist ideology.”

This could mean further tightening of the embargo after Castro dies, similar to the way the embargo tightened after the fall of the Soviet Union (the opposite of what should have happened).

Of course, the moral wisdom of using a 45-year embargo against a small neighbor that is not a threat to us, is as ignored by “experts” as it is by popular media and public rhetoric.

Most arguments in support of the embargo will serve you a list of Castro’s crimes (real or not) as an excuse to justify starving of the Cuban people, which, driven by hunger, are supposed to rise up and overthrow their leader, at which time we can step in and give them our recipe for success and happiness.

Why can’t we just be good friends and neighbors?



Blogger leftside said...

I think the 10 years after Castro's death is about as realistic as estimate as I have seen. Most Cubans assume that his death (or stepping down) will be the moment of great change. They are mistaken. Most want to keep socialism and next to zero want the US to be involved at all.

12:56 AM, August 04, 2005  
Blogger Jerry A. Sierra said...

The ideal situation would be for us to befriend Cuba now, with Castro still in power. If we ended hostilities (including guaranteeing the end of terrorist hostilities) we’d see positive changes in Cuban society, and Castro might even retire early. Even if these are not ideal results from a U.S. perspective, it would be better for the Cuban people. I just saw the 60-Minutes segment tonight in which 2 families discussed life in Iraq, and I hate to think of another U.S. military occupation of Cuba.

8:54 PM, September 18, 2005  

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