Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Dead Man Walking

Sorry for the light blogging, I am honored that there are so many of you kind folks that stop by my little place on the internet every day and I feel terrible about it when I don't post anything of substance. And since my Florida Gators are going to play for a National Championship I've been busy blogging on my Gator blog, Saurian Sagacity. I have also been making travel arrangements to get to the big game on January 8th. Additionally I wrote a piece for Herald Watch that many of you were kind enough to read as well.

Anyway there's a site reporting that fidel castro is dead. It's only the one millionth time in the last 47+ years that reports of this sort have been made so it should be taken with a grain of salt but certainly the last images of castro to be made public show him to be in the grasp of the grim reaper. The Parkinson's disease he's been long rumored to have is showing up in the pronounced facial mask that is characteristic of such patients.

Over the weekend, as you all know, there were two important events. The first was the birthday "celebrations" complete with military parade and speech by raul castro, but no fidel. The second was the election in Venezuela. The linked report of fidel's demise claims that the news has not been made public because the cuban government did not want it to affect the election.

Listening to the radio tonight I heard some important observations about raul's speech:

1. It was short. I'm sure the people of Cuba are glad for that.

2. Even though it had the obligatory dig at the US it wasn't nearly as bad as what fidel would traditionally say and he even mentioned a dialogue with the US to settle differences. Of course this is part of an effort to soften the image of regime. You can expect the rhetoric among dialogueros in the US to rachet up in the coming days/weeks. The reality is that the differences that need to be settled are between the Cuban government and the people that it has misgoverned for 5 decades.

It should also be noted that when fidel talked of negotiations with the "imperialist" US he always gave five conditions which had to be met before any negotiation could take place. In later years those 5 conditions became 2: lowering the embargo and abandoning the Guantanamo base. raul mentioned neither condition. Is this a new stance? Hard to tell if it was an intentional ommission.

3. Another thing to consider is that raul finished the speech with "Cuba Libre" or Free Cuba, which is a common saying among Cubans of all stripes, instead of "Patria o Muerte" (Fatherland or Death) or "Socialism o Muerte" (Socialism or Death), fidel's favorite sign-offs.

So are these signs of the inevitable change we have been waiting for, or simply an over-analysis of mundane events?


Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

Bzz, bzzz, bzzz.

Do I hear something buzzing about my ear?

Oh must be my biggest fan.

The US recognizes Cuban sovereignty. What it doesn't recognize is the unelected gang of thugs that currently misgovern Cuba. There's a big difference.

And here's a condition that you would surely appreciate: unconditional release of all internationally recognized political prisoners.

Anonymous said...

Within the space of a year I had to endure a double tragedy. The lives of my mother and father was cut short by the illegal separation of the two who had been together 58 years , the stress of the separation and ensuing legal battle took a heavy toll ... I would be honored if you joined me in this video that's 3 minutes long , in remembrance of these two lives that touched so many people and brought us so much more than they took with them. This is 3 min film to celebrate their 58 years together. Please watch this film with the speakers on. It Will be Worth it! Se lo Prometo.