The Twilight of the Castros: Two Contradictory Messages

A. It is suggested that one should visit Havana soon – before its residual old-world charm is ruined by the commercialization to be expected following the return of normal relations with the United States.

B. Recently, 52 dissidents were allowed to leave Cuba, thanks to Spain’s mediation.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (July 22) has doubts about Spain’s campaign to boost Cuba’s record on human rights: “It was a strange coincidence that in the days after the announcement of the pact between Raúl Castro, the Catholic Church and Foreign Minister Moratinos on the release of the prisoners, 84-year-old Fidel suddenly made half a dozen public appearances….

“[Those already released] are temporarily housed at a small hotel called ‘Welcome’ in a Madrid suburb but would prefer to be with their friends and families in Florida. The Europeans, they say, should not be deceived. For beyond political maneuverings nothing much can be expected from the Castros for the simple reason that any substantial step towards liberalization would weaken their grip on power.

“So should the EU provide oxygen to a moribund dictatorship that in the space of half a century has seen more than a tenth of its population flee the country, all in the vague hope of a ‘soft transition’?”

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4 responses to “The Twilight of the Castros: Two Contradictory Messages

  1. I miss the links at the top to navigate to previous and next entry – they’re now at the bottom. How about putting them back upstairs where I’m used to seeing them? Or maybe both top AND bottom? Just a thought (at twilight, when the lights grow dim…)

  2. I was always opposed to the American policy on Cuba. Everybody should go to Heaven his own way, freely adapted from Frederick the Great of Prussia.

  3. David Schatzky

    Having been to Cuba at least half a dozen times over the last 40 years, I’ve morphed from being an enthusiastic supporter of the “revolution” to a disillusioned never-to-go-again opponent of the current government. The Cuban people are captives of a rigid Stalinesque regime, despairing of change, crying for freedom and feeling powerless. You can see that in the paintings and sculpture of their top artists: people with bars over their eyes and mouths; turnstiles they can’t get through in the ocean surrounding their island; wings sprouting out of their backs in order to fly away from their homeland prison. They need to be liberated, one hopes in an incremental non-violent manner, but the Castro Bros. are incapable of moving at more than a snail’s pace…