The Castro dictatorship(s) have been a disaster for Cuba. Their longevity has been an embarrassment for their supporters. They outlive all rationalizations for their continued hold on power. Not that it matters to those who support them still. The principal characteristics of Castro supporters has been anti-Americanism and residence outside of Cuba.
When those supporters mated, it was until death [confirmed on state TV] do them part. In true leftist fashion, the death of others as a result of their union, being merely an inconvenience. Actually, it’s useful to think of it as a Match.com scenario on a geopolitical level for haters of the U.S.
First, came the email tease. Dear Lefty, have we got a match for you … she lives in the tropics and Hemingway wrote about her with passion. Lefty scans the profile and spots free health care [the equivalent of a cute picture]. A ‘whoa, what have we here’ moment ensues. Profile further notes that she refuses to bend to U.S. imperialism [lives alone] and is determined to fight illiteracy [divorced]. Lefty sends email which is returned with a picture of Che [gal in bikini drinking beer]. Click send [ka-ching].
Dating and inevitable disappointment follow. Co-workers ask what good is literacy is you can only read what the state approves. Family notes that health care is not free, comes at expense of freedom. Best friend says she reminds her of the Soviet gal. No use, Lefty’s in love.
The latest casualty for continued support of the Castro regimes is the ‘China or Cuban or Third Way.’ The theory was that economic liberalization was supposed to lead to political liberalization. We can now add that one to the ash heap of under-performing sugar harvests, otherwise known as the list of rationalization theories which the Castro regimes have outlasted. Noted neo-conservative foreign policy expert, Robert Kagan, summarized in the Weekly Standard:
Nor has the growth of the Chinese and Russian economies produced the political liberalization that was once thought inevitable. Growing national wealth and autocracy have proven compatible, after all. Autocrats learn and adjust. The autocracies of Russia and China have figured out how to permit open economic activity while suppressing political activity. They have seen that people making money will keep their noses out of politics, especially if they know their noses will be cut off. New wealth gives autocracies a greater ability to control information–to monopolize television stations and to keep a grip on Internet traffic, for instance–often with the assistance of foreign corporations eager to do business with them.
For a slightly different perspective, see the Economist’s take on China’s failure to liberalize:
Those who have argued for the beneficial effect of the Olympics on China have made three specific claims, none of which holds water. First, Chinese officials themselves said the games would bring human-rights improvements. The opposite is true. China’s people are far freer now than they were 30, 20 or even 10 years ago. The party has extricated itself from big parts of their lives, and relative wealth has broadened horizons. But that is not thanks to the Olympics, which have brought more repression. To build state-of-the-art facilities for the games, untold numbers of people were forced to move. Anxious to prevent protests that might steal headlines from the glories of Chinese modernist architecture or athletic prowess, the authorities have hounded dissidents with more than usual vigour. And there are anyway clear limits to the march of freedom in China; although personal and economic freedoms have multiplied, political freedoms have been disappointingly constrained since Hu Jintao became president in 2003.