Castro quits

Fidel Castro Resigns Cuban Presidency. Who would have thought that he would peacefully retire, rather than being assassinated or overthrown in a revolution? Do you think communism will hang on in Cuba, or can we expect a revolution of freedom now that the old man is no longer running the firing squads?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Bror Erickson

    The fox lived. wow. Well with the few failed attempts at revolution I didn’t see anymore coming so wouldn’t figure on that overthrowing him. I think the cubans have learned their lesson on revolution. The problem with them is once they are complete the same people, or types, are normally left in charge. The American Revolution is a true anomally in that regard. But most revolutions that are succesful are carried out by people just as rutheless as the people already in office.
    I think this means that the communist state hangs on a little longer than it would have, Castro secures the government for his croneys this way. But it is a sign of change. Things won’t remain the same as he fades. Can we lift the embargo now? I mean before it is totally illegal to smoke.

  • Bror Erickson

    The fox lived. wow. Well with the few failed attempts at revolution I didn’t see anymore coming so wouldn’t figure on that overthrowing him. I think the cubans have learned their lesson on revolution. The problem with them is once they are complete the same people, or types, are normally left in charge. The American Revolution is a true anomally in that regard. But most revolutions that are succesful are carried out by people just as rutheless as the people already in office.
    I think this means that the communist state hangs on a little longer than it would have, Castro secures the government for his croneys this way. But it is a sign of change. Things won’t remain the same as he fades. Can we lift the embargo now? I mean before it is totally illegal to smoke.

  • Joe

    It looks as if his little brother will take over. We shall soon see how he does with things. We shall soon find out how much of Fidel’s rule was based on the cult of personality. His supporters view(ed) him as a father figure and his detractors are in prision or Miami, so he shall see if Raul can keep the kids in line.

  • Joe

    It looks as if his little brother will take over. We shall soon see how he does with things. We shall soon find out how much of Fidel’s rule was based on the cult of personality. His supporters view(ed) him as a father figure and his detractors are in prision or Miami, so he shall see if Raul can keep the kids in line.

  • Kirk

    I’m currently sitting at work in the Latin America and Caribbean bureau in the U.S. Agency for International Development. Meetings are being canceled, people are traveling from cube to cube discussing the matter, everyone is very excited in general. It’s definitely an interesting day to be here.

  • Kirk

    I’m currently sitting at work in the Latin America and Caribbean bureau in the U.S. Agency for International Development. Meetings are being canceled, people are traveling from cube to cube discussing the matter, everyone is very excited in general. It’s definitely an interesting day to be here.

  • Kirk

    Note: this is me speaking as an individual, not a member of USAID and all of this is personal speculation and not based on any official documents that I have seen pertaining to Cuba.

    To contribute a bit more substance on this issue, I would like to propose that the more interesting question is whether or not the U.S. will continue to enforce its embargo on Cuba now that Castro has resigned. The fact that, at present, the U.S. is the only major power that sanctions Cuba, seriously undermines any economic or political goals that our nation hopes to accomplish. Anything that Cuba can’t get from the U.S. can easily be acquired from other nations. Granted, the embargo cuts Cuba off from its greatest potential export market, but it’s obviously not been a death blow to the communist regime.

    I wonder if policy makers may take a look at the economic situation in China. While still communist in name, the PRC seems to be on a continual march towards something resembling democracy. The pragmatics of wealth accumulation have lead that nation to shed much of its Communist ideology. I wonder if the same might happen in Cuba, were we to begin to exert economic influence on the nation. In the same vein, the opening of our borders would facilitate the great flow of democratic ideals to the Cuban people, perhaps inspiring reform, if not revolution.

    It seems to me that our embargo is a matter of nation pride. Had we lifted it prior to Castro’s resignation, he may have viewed it as a victory over capitalism. Lifting it now would show Cuba that their leader’s greatest contribution to their well being was relinquishing his position.

  • Kirk

    Note: this is me speaking as an individual, not a member of USAID and all of this is personal speculation and not based on any official documents that I have seen pertaining to Cuba.

    To contribute a bit more substance on this issue, I would like to propose that the more interesting question is whether or not the U.S. will continue to enforce its embargo on Cuba now that Castro has resigned. The fact that, at present, the U.S. is the only major power that sanctions Cuba, seriously undermines any economic or political goals that our nation hopes to accomplish. Anything that Cuba can’t get from the U.S. can easily be acquired from other nations. Granted, the embargo cuts Cuba off from its greatest potential export market, but it’s obviously not been a death blow to the communist regime.

    I wonder if policy makers may take a look at the economic situation in China. While still communist in name, the PRC seems to be on a continual march towards something resembling democracy. The pragmatics of wealth accumulation have lead that nation to shed much of its Communist ideology. I wonder if the same might happen in Cuba, were we to begin to exert economic influence on the nation. In the same vein, the opening of our borders would facilitate the great flow of democratic ideals to the Cuban people, perhaps inspiring reform, if not revolution.

    It seems to me that our embargo is a matter of nation pride. Had we lifted it prior to Castro’s resignation, he may have viewed it as a victory over capitalism. Lifting it now would show Cuba that their leader’s greatest contribution to their well being was relinquishing his position.

  • Joe

    Kirk, I think there is some truth to your proposition. Although, I think we would need to extract some visible reforms in exchange for lifting the embargo.

  • Joe

    Kirk, I think there is some truth to your proposition. Although, I think we would need to extract some visible reforms in exchange for lifting the embargo.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    I’d just like some consistency in our interactions with other nations. Cuba is a Communist pariah who we shun all trade with and demand freedom for its citizens. And China? Welcome to the WTO and take our dollars, please. With the latter, we hope to gain freedom through trade. And Cuba? Freedom through lack of trade.

    One begins to wonder if it’s really about freedom or democracy at all, or just about economic power. Looking at other countries under totalitarian regimes only furthers this cynicism.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    I’d just like some consistency in our interactions with other nations. Cuba is a Communist pariah who we shun all trade with and demand freedom for its citizens. And China? Welcome to the WTO and take our dollars, please. With the latter, we hope to gain freedom through trade. And Cuba? Freedom through lack of trade.

    One begins to wonder if it’s really about freedom or democracy at all, or just about economic power. Looking at other countries under totalitarian regimes only furthers this cynicism.


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