We all want the best for the Cuba people. But how do we send a message about Castro to Castro and his henchmen? To the point, Cuba has an unnatural, even monstrous government - 50 years of the Castro brothers. What other modern country would allow 50 years of such rule? Would the US want 50 years of its best president? Or worst president? Would Canada want 50 years of any PM? Without election? I think to good citizens of any country such a reign is highly revolting . There are other good Cuban people out there that can take control. Perhaps they have been deterred, "with extreme prejudice" by the secret police. Has Cuban society, under the Castros, not produced any single man or woman who has the abilities to fill his role? .
Slowly, the Arab peoples are realizing their predicament and power and realizing the unnaturalness of any such rule. Having met the fate of despots are: Hosni Mubarek (30 year reign), ben Ali (24 years), Muammar Qaddafi (41 years) , and Ali Abdullan Saleh of Yemen (33 years). Sweating bullets are Bashar al-Assad, son of Hafez al-Assad (29 years) and really most every other mid-East ruler. It is not known what kind of Cuban government will emerge, but the current world changes are real, powerful, and violent. Furthermore, most of the South American continent has morphed into good governments, excepting the Venezuela of Chavez and the narco sick Columbia.
Certainly the United States has supported bad regimes and the US has been exposed for it. We supported Saddam at first, the Shah of Iran, and Hosni Mubarek, and a number of dictators in Central and South America. But, it is not that easy to do that any more.
There are some pluses (education system) about the current Cuban government, but there are more minuses. In regards to Cuba's membership on the UN Human Rights Council, this is a bad joke. It is a matter of record that Libya was a member of the Council until May 2011, when it was expelled and had been president of the Council in 2003. Libya did not deserve to be on the Council in the first place. Neither does Cuba. Currently, on the 55 member Council, I wonder by what criteria are Saudi Arabia and China included? Are we to follow their counsel on the treatment of women and Christians (Saudi) and the working class (China). Or on selection, not election, of leaders?
The Cuban problem has been cooking up for a long time, lately simmering, earlier boiling. Slowing the Cuban government is fixing itself, quitting Cuban internationalism (Angola and Grenada), opening to tourism, opening up slightly to free enterprise. Slowly, very slowly, and miserly, Castro has figured out he has to give the people more liberties.
But the Miami Herald online, on July 30, 2011, detailed the rise of the people in Cuba, such as the Cuban National Civic Resistance Front. The 2010 hunger strike death of Afro-Cuban bricklayer Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a bricklayer, who the Cuban government cut off his water, roiled the working class citizens into the streets. Information about the Cuban dissident movements are easy to find online.
But, a real problem may yet raise its head - a real problem. What will happen to Cuba upon the demise of the Castro brothers? Or will a movement topple the brothers? Either way, the Castros will fall. Then, the Cuban transition will begin. Will an emergency situation arise? Will Canada, US, other powers be requested to assist? If authorized, would the Cuban assistance be conducted in a permissive or non-permissive environment? That is, will former Communist party officials fight against changes and want to continue as is? Fidel and Raul have many children, sons and daughters. One or more of them have their plans. Is a Caribbean military action in the future?
So, Cuban is in a race - reform against demise. I fear that the snail's pace of Cuban reform, will be overtaken by the passing of the Castros and that a crisis will follow. The award of rights for the Cuban people, by Castro, is not on the horizon. De oppresso liber!
Victor Renfro - 1971 UPEI graduate. Former Plans Officer for the HQ, US 1st Cavalry Division in Bosnia-Herzogovina and for the HQ, 336th Transportation Group, III US Army (Forward) in Kuwait.