Where Is Cuba Going? – NYTimes.com

A long read but worth the time to get a fresh look at the trend for Raul’s Cuba:

This was the first time I was in post-Fidel Cuba. It was funny to think that not long ago, there were smart people who doubted that such a thing could exist, i.e., who believed that with the fall of Fidel would come the fall of Communism on the island. But Fidel didn’t fall. He did fall, physically — on the tape that gets shown over and over in Miami, of him coming down the ramp after giving that speech in 2004 and tumbling and breaking his knee — but his leadership didn’t. He executed one of the most brilliantly engineered successions in history, a succession that was at the same time a self-entrenchment. First, he faked his own death in a way: serious intestinal operation, he might not make it. Raúl is brought in as “acting president.” A year and a half later, Castro mostly recovered. But Raúl is officially named president, with Castro’s approval. It was almost as if, “Is Fidel still . . . ?” Amazing. So now they rule together, with Raúl out front, but everyone understanding that Fidel retains massive authority. Not to say that Raúl doesn’t wield power — he has always had plenty — but it’s a partnership of some kind. What comes after is as much of a mystery as ever.

via Where Is Cuba Going? – NYTimes.com.

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4 thoughts on “Where Is Cuba Going? – NYTimes.com

  1. Sara Gomez says:

    This is such an interesting story/ recapitulation of Cuba’s situation. Reading this reminded me of 1984 by George Orwell. 1984 is a story regarding Russia during the communism, which shows the lack of freedom of the society. In one part of the book the main character finds a place where he could find things that have been prohibited before, things as simples as notebooks, candle lights, etc… He began using them while he was hiding from the TV that will be watching all his actions. As Orwell’s story also show the lack of trade and the lack of freedom of acquiring goods, so does the story of “where Cuba is going”. The story mentions that he was at the house of his wives’ family and he mentioned how Cuba was known for his cigarettes, they interpreted as that he was asking for a cigarette so they took the car and went to the closes store. He realized that most of the cars were American cars from the 50s and a Russian car from the 70s. I am not completely sure that that situation continues being the case. Mainly because Cuba’s economy is significantly dependent on imports and the Cuban trade deficit accounted for 56% of the total trade in 2008. The story portrays a different view of Cuba and it makes it look much like 1984 story. The situation probably has improved and although I have to say that the story is really interesting I thing it may have some flaws regarding the current situation in Cuba and where it would go.

    http://www.economywatch.com/world_economy/cuba/export-import.html

  2. Jordan White says:

    This was worth the long read. Not very often do we get to see the inside look of what things are like in Cuba. On top of that this is written by an American, which is nice since we see it through someone’s eyes who has a similar background as most of us. It was interesting to see the attitudes of the Cuban people. The writer mentioned how at one point or another nearly everyone mentions that it is a prison in Cuba. However, when the writer was at the museum “Granma”, the boat that carried Castro and other revolutionaries to back to Cuba from Mexico, the man he was with looked upon it with pride. This is contradictory in my mind. Why have pride in the beginnings of the regime that imprisons you? I noticed this same issue in Russia, many say how horrible the Soviet Union was, yet many still visit Lenin’s tomb and have respect for Lenin and Stalin. Something that I did not like about this article is that it lost the point. At the beginning the writer spoke about some of the changes Cuba was going through, however, it turned more into a story about Cuban life in general. In the end there was not a definite idea of where Cuba was going, which may actually be the point. In another article I read, it spoke of the changes, but noted that the changes are coming very slowly.
    Also, in reference to the comment on top, 1984 is not set in Russia. It is set in the fictional nation of Oceania, but most of it takes place in what is England. Just wanted to make that point.

  3. Jordan White says:

    Sorry I forgot to post the link to the other article I read.
    http://www.economist.com/node/21562954

  4. AsaClements says:

    In hope of winning an election in November Paul Ryan called Obama soft on Cuba and suggested that the embargo continue. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/us/politics/ryan-criticizes-obamas-cuba-policy-and-explains-his-shift-on-the-issue.html) However, Ryan’s statement from a decade ago, with support from both the article in the times and the article cited by Jordan, is a much healthier and more effective way of dealing with Cuba. Simply end the embargo. A country that allows itself to trade with a free market economy will, with time, succumb to the market. By trading with Cuba, like China, capitalism will spread democracy and provide more freedoms and great prosperity. And not just for Cuban’s, for American’s too. Trade is always mutually beneficial. That’s econ 101.

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