Thursday, August 03, 2006

Let's Hear it For Intestinal Blockage

An intestinal ailment has apparently achieved what almost 50 years of embargos, espionage and beard-poisoning plots could not - an abdication of power by Fidel Castro – albeit, it seems, only temporarily. The event itself is not all that newsworthy, I admit. You should probably rate it somewhat comparable to a humanitarian-excursion to the Democratic Republic of Congo by Bono and Friends. Notwithstanding, the more interesting story to me is the sheer fact that Fidel’s reign is approaching the half-century mark; and, disgracefully, we have Washington to thank for the soon-to-come silver anniversary. Without a doubt, the U.S. policy towards Cuba over the last few decades has served Castro far too well. While the “Evil Empire” self-destructed from the Baltic’s to the Bering Strait and Vietnam and China liberalized to embrace “managed”-capitalism, our irrational policy towards Cuba all but guaranteed the continuation of the Castro regime and its reflexive Nehru-like disdain for all thinks "American." U.S. mandated economic sanctions and the whacky cloak and dagger schemes provided the old man with a hegemon-sized propaganda-tool and scapegoat against whom the little nation could rally - an Oceana in the Orwellian sense. Indeed, it is a hell of alot easier to blame Cuba's economic stagnation and toilet paper shortages on the policies of the "American Imperialists," rather than admit to the obvious failures of socialism and idiocy Mr. Guevara'a Soviet-planned industrialization policies. It is no mere coincidence that today, Marxist-Stalinist-style communism only survives in the 2 states that we have chosen to completely shut out. So the way I see it, the marathon reign of Castro is a creation of the Washington-wonks. Big surprise.