Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cuba Libre. The Day is Coming

The Castro brothers are old. And out of touch. The Cuban economy is sinking, something the two old incompetent Marxists can do nothing about.

Maybe Raul will release enough of his political prisoners to convince the US it's time to drop the embargo. Given Obama's desire to appease the world's dictators, it should take very little to satisfy our president. But, then the Cubans living in the US would protest his weakness.

What does a weak president do? Nothing. Too bad for everyone. Too bad for American tourists; too bad for Major League Baseball; and most of all, too bad for the citizens of Cuba.

In Cuba, Revolution Day Without Castro at Podium

Raúl Castro attended a Revolution Day event Monday in Santa Clara but chose not to address the crowd. He delegated the task to his vice president.

Published: July 26, 2010

SANTA CLARA, Cuba — Raúl Castro is known among Cubans as a pragmatist, not an orator. But the Cuban president surprised even those accustomed to his reticence on Monday, when he chose not to address an expectant crowd gathered to celebrate Revolution Day in this university town.

Instead, he delegated the task to the 79-year old vice president, José Ramón Machado Ventura, who appealed for discipline and patience as Cuba tackles economic reforms and condemned the United States for its economic isolation of the island as Mr. Castro applauded from his seat.

“We will go forward, step by step, with a sense of responsibility at our own rhythm, without improvising and without haste,” Mr. Machado said.

Mr. Castro’s choice to not to speak at one of the most important fixtures on the Cuban calendar disappointed some in this central Cuban city. Cubans and officials interviewed Monday said they could not recall an occasion when either Mr. Castro, 79, or his brother, Fidel, 83, did not speak on July 26, when Cubans commemorate the 1953 rebel assault on the Moncada military barracks in Santiago de Cuba, an event often celebrated here as the birth of the revolution against President Fulgencio Batista.

The decision puzzled Cuba analysts, who thought Mr. Castro might use the occasion to reassert his leadership after his brother’s recent re-emergence into the public sphere after years of seclusion due to illness. Fidel Castro made a separate appearance on Monday in Havana, where he laid a wreath at a memorial for the national hero José Martí.

Some suggested that Raúl Castro, who took over as president in 2008, might be waiting to announce new economic reforms in the more formal setting of the National Assembly, Cuba’s Parliament, when it meets on Sunday.

Cubans weaned on Fidel Castro’s oratorical marathons say they appreciate the terse style of his brother, but many complain that reforms have been slow and say they want to be kept in the loop.

“It’s true he is very practical, but he should give us an idea of where we are going,” Luis Piloto, a theater technician, said after the two-hour, early morning event in a square with a vast monument to Ernesto (Che) Guevara.

The president has made cutting fat from the public sector and increasing agricultural output central to reforms since he succeeded his brother.

The government has leased thousands of hectares of state-held land to private farmers, raised prices paid for produce and agreed to let farmers buy their own supplies instead of having them allocated by the state.

But it has yet to make good on a pledge to cut the agricultural sector’s huge bureaucracy, and problems with distribution and supplies of fertilizer have led to a fall in output this year. Cuba is facing rice shortages and is expecting this year’s sugar crop to be the lowest in more than 100 years, according to state media.

Analysts said Mr. Castro now has to balance the unpopular task of cutting public-sector jobs with creating more opportunities for private enterprise. The Cuban leader has turned some barber shops over to workers and allowed more private taxis.

“Raúl’s message about reform is, ‘This is about becoming more efficient, but making changes in a way that doesn’t cause unrest,’ ” said Sarah Stephens, executive director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas.

Philip Peters, vice president of the Lexington Institute, a research group in Virginia, said the government could allow retailers to buy supplies wholesale, rather than from expensive state-owned shops, as “a sign of acceptance that these people are part of our economy and we want them to succeed.”

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Blogger SNAKE HUNTERS said...

Two senile old men running affairs of state for Cuba; that's nearly five decades away from those RussianNukeMissiles (1962) pointing north at the eastern one-half of the United States!
On a more cheerful note, I saw a great book promoted tonight on the 9 PM Hannity Show--The Grand Jihad-- *how islam an the left* Sabotage America.

(I rec'd my paper-back 'galley-proof' one week ago today...what a great, revealing book this is, cover to cover.)

Any aware citizen should be enraged...that Saudi Oil Money should hope to, or dare to, build a 13-story Mosque at Ground Zero.. New York City..a stone's throw from the 9/11 site, is mind-snapping!

Get this book! - reb
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11:26 PM  

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