What Will Life in Cuba be Like After Castro?

Posted by Frederick Jones
October 29, 2007
Flag Above Havana Street

Last week, The President asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez to lead an effort to form a "Freedom Fund" for the Cuban people. The Fund would give Cubans access to grants, loans, and debt relief to rebuild their country as soon as Cuba's government demonstrates that it has adopted, fundamental freedoms. To date, the economic embargo placed on Cuba by the United States has not yielded democratic reform. Some people believe this will not happen until Fidel Castro is gone.

What will life in Cuba be like after Castro?

Comments

Comments

David
|
Florida, USA
October 30, 2007

David in Florida writes:

I think that if the people really want it, now's the time. Is Fidel dead yet or still "sick"?

Ronald
|
New York, USA
October 30, 2007

Ronald in New York writes:

Stop Beating Cuba with Democracy and Freedom.

Democracy is not contingent on the death of Fidel Castro.

He will always be seen as hero by most Cubans, and the United States government must stop attacking Cuba's beloved leader. This only exacerbates the divisions and resentments between our nations. A "Freedom Fund" may backfire in a fledgling democracy, which needs to find its own way out of decades of socialism, propaganda and group-think. The evolution of nationhood is not tied to one man or to a funding source.

Kashif
|
United States
October 30, 2007

Kashif in America writes:

Hey, when we here about more political reforms from the U.S. in other countries that usually means that the U.S. wants more political reform so that they know who they can support against any political party that is opposed to American "ideals"(agenda/security). Castro could turn Cuba into the best country in the world in terms of healthcare and economically, which is what most people care about, and it wouldn't make a difference so long as Castro is in power because he represents an "anti-democratic" force. That kind of silly language makes him sound like the scary boogey man, I am shaking in fear ha-ha that old man will come after me too with his socialism. Save me o wise and knowledgeable State Department before he eats me alive.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
October 31, 2007

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Kashim in America -- Face it Kashim, the U.S. isn't too fond of dictators and tyrants in general, they make for poor neighbors.

Reform will by the will of the Cuban people. They have the right to stand up for their rights, and if the U.S. decides to support their rights, only someone inherently invested in the Cuban status quo would have objection.

And object you may...that's democracy for you...(chuckle).

Zharkov
October 31, 2007

Zharkov writes:

America cannot possibly help Cuba, with or without Castro.

The U.S. government, like the Cuban government, promotes reliance on the state instead of self-reliance by the individual, reliance on moral relativism rather than morality.

U.S. laws, like Cuban laws, promote group rights over individual rights, state socialism over individualism.

Our American government, like the Cuban government, routinely violates the Bill of Rights with every asset forfeiture it imposes on innocent citizens, with every "free speech zone" used to contain protest, and with every tax it imposes without a vote of the taxpayer. Most of the Bill of Rights is rejected by US government today, including the right of the people to assemble, to petition their government for redress (to be prohibited by H.R. 1955), to speak freely (prohibited by the McCain-Feingold Act), the right to bear arms (prohibited by law and by BATF), the right to travel (regulated through National I.D. and driver's license laws), the right to be secure in our homes (Patriot Act), and other rights for which there is now no protection. The US Constitution is a written contract between government and the citizens in which government is now in breach. In H.R. 1955, the government seeks to breach the constitutional barriers that limit their power by preventing any dissent against government acts and policies, thereby limiting the voters ability to influence their government.

U.S. federal officials, like Cuban officials, have created an administrative state, a massive bureaucracy, a fourth branch of government, in which voters have little or no power to direct their federal representatives to end corruption and abuses of federal power, and citizens are ruled by fiat at the whim of government employees much as in any other communist dictatorship. Yet these rules have the force of law and cannot be influenced at the ballot box, because citizens are never permitted to vote on any administrative rule.

America, like Cuba, has a Supreme Court that now dictates policies down to an individual level, to each town and village, something the states would never have ratified had they known this would be the ultimate result of their constitutional creation. Through these unelected branches of government, more and more laws are enacted which harm the citizens and regulate them against their will, nationalizing more and more areas of their lives and bringing citizens under government control in a matrix of laws, regulations, and punishments, that can only be described as oppressive.

In many respects, even American states have become administrative agencies of the federal government and no longer act independently. The branches of federal government have conspired to destroy the power of individual states. State sovereignty as a limit on federal power has all but disappeared. Like in Cuba, today in America, religion is banned from the public square and government is God. Private property is confiscated almost at will. The family structure has been destroyed by law and newborn life is destroyed in the name of liberty. Citizens are routinely intimidated by raw federal power, threats of investigations, audits, arrest and imprisonment, and must limit their protest to occasional voting for wholly unqualified candidates whose candidacy was paid for by foreign governments and corporations.

As in Cuba, American voters have become spectators in a voting process that appears corrupt and preordained.

American public schools have failed to teach and have become indoctrination centers for statist and socialist philosophy. No longer presenting opposing views regarding government, and indeed, no longer teaching the basic courses in government as well, public schools are beyond the control of parents who have absolutely no voice, and little choice, in the public school curriculum.

If Cuba had done this to America, Congress would have declared war against them. But American citizens have done this to themselves by failing to confront their government. Our public servants have become our masters and we are too intimidated to protest. Our legislators are little more than corporate lobbiests while in office, and paid lobbiests after retirement.

Millions of dollars in bribes are not passed to government officials while in office but are delayed and paid after retirement, disguised as "fees" for lobbying, speeches, trite books, and public appearances.

No, America has nothing to offer Cuba after Fidel, except perhaps an example of how a great people can lose their country through apathy and indifference.

Larry
|
Greece
November 1, 2007

Larry in Greece writes:

I had this same discussion with a Greek neighbor of mine here in Greece. I mentioned that the USA could offer Cuba a new start and assist in their re-growth. My Greek friend said something that I found offensive. She said, that maybe there could be some places in the world where America doesn't "HELP". She said we have "HELPED" enough in the world. Then she went on to describe her wonderful vacation in Cuba and how the Cubans are against YOU Americans and your imperialism.

Well, after hearing her rambling histrionic, I mentioned that I could understand her point about liking her visit to Cuba, because many Americans have enjoyed a wonderful vacation in Northern Cyprus courtesy of the hospitable Turks. I told her of my American friend who truly enjoyed Northern Cyprus and it's friendly people. Her mouth dropped open and she THEN understood the irony of her smugness.

Calum
|
United Kingdom
November 1, 2007

Calum in Scotland writes:

Although not within the remit of The State Department, a more relevant question for more people is, "What will life in the U.S.A. be like after Bush and Cheney?

Will democracy return?

Will fundamental freedoms be returned?

Everyone knows that this will not happen until George Bush is gone and, perhaps, not even then.

jailhouselawyer
|
United Kingdom
November 1, 2007

JHL in U.K. writes:

Will those poor devils in Guantanamo Bay notice any difference?

Kenneth T.
|
Canada
November 1, 2007

Kenneth in Canada writes:

This Freedom Fund ploy, by U.S. President George W. Bush, is a direct interference into the internal affairs of the Cuban Nation. As for setting the Cuban people free, the U.S. record from 1908, has proven that it did practice democracy in Vuba then, nor at any time after that.

As for the other statement on democracy, let U.S. President George W. Bush first allow the practice of democracy within the U.S., before telling the Cuban that they need it.

King George W. Bush holds on to his wealth, but Fidel Castro Ruz gave his estate away to his country. There is the real difference between the capitalist George W. Bush and the Social Democrat Fidel Castro Ruz for all the world to see.

Cubans must never return to the pseudo democracy American style of the days of Fulgencio Batista. Any attempt by the U.S. to install a puppet government in Cuba after the death of Fidel Castro Ruz, will be met with a bigger revolution than before.

The people of Cuba are free today, as much as they were from the 1959, revolution. They own their country and no foreign power, including the U.S. will deter the Cubans from holding on to their dream, a Cuban state where even the poorest citizen has education, medical heath, food and housing. How many in the U.S. can say the same for their country. Where the poor are left to their own devices, while money is being wasted in a war that cannot be won in the Middle East.

If and when the Bush regime is removed along with its coterie of toadies, the people of the U.S. can look forward to return of democracy they once had, before this excuse for a government stole two elections by fraud.

Linsey
November 1, 2007

Linsey writes:

It will be the same.

Gigi
|
Germany
November 1, 2007

Gigi in Germany writes:

I believe the Cuban population will have the party of the cnetury along with the rest of the world. This man has been in complete control for far too long without any progress made towards democracy. They will rejoice at being part of the free world.

It is a shame we did not invade this country for fear of repercussions from the former Soviet block. It would have accomplished a lot toward the spread of democracy in Latin America.

@ Calum in Scotland -- We do not enjoy having others meddle in our internal business. America is in a fight against terrorism and no nation has the guts to stand up to the really evil people like we do!!!

Thanks for having this blog.

Calum
|
United Kingdom
November 2, 2007

Calum in Scotland writes:

@ Gigi in Germany -- Gigi in Germany said "We do not enjoy having others meddle in our internal business."

Goose and ganders here.

Other countries / other peoples do not enjoy having the U.S.A. meddle in their internal business.

Schmetterlingbionda
|
District Of Columbia, USA
November 2, 2007

S in Washington DC writes,

What will life in Cuba be like after Castro? To answer a question with a question, why is it, after almost 50 years of Cubans under Castro, do Americans still believe that Cubans want to be "free" of Castro? Who thinks that "democracy alla Americana" is the answer to all the world's ills? And why is it, since we are asking questions about Cuba, that the citizens of the United States of America, the world's only superpower, this country of 300 million, is THE ONLY COUNTRY ON EARTH whose citizens are not permitted to visit and travel to Cuba, huh? That is a far more relevant and interesting question than the one posed by State! Is this country so in the thrall of the ex-pat Cuban-American community that we make a fool of ourselves (and a lie to the idea that we are the most "free" country on earth) to the rest of the world? Those are my Cuba questions to your Cuba question!

Alberto
|
Chile
November 2, 2007

Alberto in Chile writes:

"Proletarian Dictatorship" will maybe end, but with the overcome of what gringos call "democracy", "Capital Dictatorship" will become Cuba in whatever 3rd world country.

Matt
|
Georgia
November 2, 2007

Matt in Georgia writes:

I'd like one day to vacation in a free Cuba. To get there, we have to get rid of this embargo. Our farmers could sell their grain and meat, our tech companies and intellectual property industries could flourish, the standard of living for Cubans would rise, and the island could join the 21st century. Cuba has much to give the world; excellent medical research, natural resources, good people.

We could have overthrown Fidel years ago by exposing them to hamburgers and rock and roll.... oh well.

Kenneth
|
Canada
November 3, 2007

Kenneth in Canada writes:

It is not that Cuba is a threat to world peace, but that the U.S. certainly is. Instead of talking about setting up a government in Cuba that answers to the White House and its resident, the U.S. should tackle its own problems, of poverty, lack of education, lack of housing, lack of medical facilities for 40 million people, and above all, its rigging of the polls by parties. All this does not happen in Cuba, but in the U.S.

It's time to look within, why the U.S. is not a functioning democracy but a dictatorship, no different in essence to Nazi Germany or the late Soviet Union. Instead of Calling Kim Il-jong a tyrant, look at who sits in the White House, and if this person is not the epitome of a tyrant. It is well and good to point the finger at some else, but how about doing some home improvements, like bringing back democracy to the U.S.A.

Let he, who is without sin cast the first stone. This tirade against Fidel Castro Ruz and the Cuban Nation has become an American obsession, and will have to be dealt will in time.

If the Cubans like social democracy, who is the U.S. to tell them that they must adopt capitalism, because capitalism is certainly not democracy at all. Go investigate and find out for yourselves.

Will
|
Massachusetts, USA
November 4, 2007

Will in Massachusetts writes:

Despite the good intentions of the Bush Administration or any for that matter, a freedom fund will not ensure a democratic and stable future for Cuba. I imagine that there will be a good deal of confusion and potentially a large amount of institutional disintegration. Despite the fact that Castro is a dictator, we must nonetheless recognize that he has established a country wide health care system and education system. Cuba as one of the highest literacy rates of the Caribbean and there is wide spread gender equality. While this does not excuse his style of rule, it is not the less an example of institutions he has established that are largely dependant on his government.

As we have learned sadly from Iraq and the Soviet Union, democracies will not necessarily take root if the seeds are planted. The soil must be rich enough to support it. Democracy needs a culture of democracy and economic prosperity to survive. A new democracyãs primary responsibility in poor a nation, like Cuba, is to provide for its people and failure to do so will undermine the legitimacy and stability of the government. Furthermore, the apparatus of the autocracy will be dismantled and an entirely new bureaucracy and system will have to be established. Hopefully, instead, Raul will begin to transition, perhaps with help from the U.S., so that this bureaucracy is not lost and that democracy will be a slow but stable process. Though democracy and market economy is what we desire, the end of Castro will not necessarily promote these, nor will a rapid change in federal government structure or policy change this. A post Castro Cuba may be more malevolent toward the U.S., especially if domestic institutions break down. This could lead to Cuba being used a transfer point for terrorists. In this light we should take the first steps now to give Cuba incentives to transition to democracy rather than have to deal with rapid and unstable regime change, either democratic or other wise.

John
|
District Of Columbia, USA
November 4, 2007

John in Washington, DC writes:

Thankfully Cuba will be exactly the same after Castro goes.

It is sad that generations of leaders in the United States think it is a good idea to colonize every country on the planet and make them American.

Differences in people and governments make like interesting and worth living.

Clones of the bland American society leave a thinking person wanting more culture.

This is why American's travel to see the countries where their ancestors came from. They're different.

Jose L.
|
Spain
November 4, 2007

Jose in Spain writes:

I hope that very soom freedom and democracy arrives to Cuba, specially in Guantanamo.
Yankees, go home!

Joe
|
Tennessee, USA
November 5, 2007

Joe in Tennessee writes:

It's a rather moot question in actuality.

It will completely depend on the outcome of Chavez's political perseverance in Venezuela.

Chavez's ideology and power is largely due to Castro and Putins aid. Chavez is following the Latin Manifesto that Castro laid down over two decades ago...he is following it 100% and with the natural resource of oil and organized labor, he has the money to implement it and then turn toward Cuba to aid them.

Cuba now provides Physicians, etc. to Venezuela and other 'people' oriented services, while neglecting their own for future impute from Chavez.

It's fate is decided.

LuckyPawn
|
Tennessee, USA
November 6, 2007

LP in Tennessee writes:

The United States is the foundation of Freedom as no Nation since the Magna Carta has evolved to offer its citizens and other Nations, including those who are not politically in line with our State. We have even delivered food ?without arms? to Islamic Nations after tragedy.

Though USAID more homes, hospitals, schools and higher Educational opportunities have been given to those less fortunate...more so than any other Nation even those fiscally more solvent. It is the Nature of a Nation founded on sound Christian Principles to do so and the United States of America has done so throughout its history.

For all you "bashing" this Nation and are Socialist in nature I ask: Since Russia is now the Second most profitable/solvent nation on earth: Why are over 30% of their people under 75% standard health, education and housing levels? Why do they give less money proportionately to the Citizens and other nations?

America means hope above all else. Whatever our heads of State deem is necessary to provide that hope has always come first.

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