Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Raise your hands if you are guilty!!
As a fan of scuba diving and the Spanish language I took great interest in today's news that the President/dictator of Cuba, Fidel Castro, "relinquished his presidential powers" (temporarily) to his brother Raul due to surgery for gastrointestinal bleeding which will require several weeks of rest. Essentially I can't legally travel to Cuba since I am a US citizen bound by federal law preventing such activities since scuba diving in Cuba would require me to spend money which would assist the Communist dictatorship apparently. Reminder -- I was able to travel to the Soviet Union in 1986 where I did spend money while distributing contraband Western literature/news magazines. Given the thousands of nuclear war heads the Soviet Union had at the time clearly they were a greater danger to the USA at the time versus the Cuba of today which is armed with hundreds of 1950's era automobiles :-)
So with Fidel's health clearly failing at age 80 and given Raul's age now at 75 the Cuban-American community was reportedly celebrating Fidel's further steps towards the grave as a sign that the "next Cuban revolution" (my phrase) is growing near as the old guard fades away. This is a great reminder that the US-led trade embargo against Cuba imposed to isolate Cuba from the world economy and force Castro from power has COMPLETELY FAILED since Fidel has been in power since January 1, 1959.
Now Castro has had a long run in power having lasted longer than all the leaders in the world except for these two:
1.) King Bhumibol Adulyadjej of Thailand -- crowned in 1946
2.) Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom -- crowned in 1952
I would never equate the Castro dictatorship to the royal governments in Thailand and the United Kingdom but I would highlight the archaic system known as dynastic rule. For the best (worst?) example of dynastic rule look no further than the starving masses in North Korea where the jump suit wearing, sushi-eating, rapist known as President Kim Jong Il is managing a genocide being ignored by the world community simply because the national starvation diet works at a slower pace than Hitler's gas chambers.
Question -- why should someone serve in political office as ruler for 60 years such as the King of Thailand? Had he lived to serve out his 4th elected term US President Franklin Roosevelt would have served for 16 years having clearly ignored the guidance of the "greatest man on earth" as he was known at the time -- President George Washington -- who completely shocked the world but essentially being the first ruler to voluntarily and in an orderly fashion transfer the power of his political office to his freely-elected successor choosing to retire to his life as a gentleman farmer in Virginia.
Today's rulers/presidents/prime ministers should study the life of President/Citizen Washington with a particular focus on the gift of orderly democracy he gave to Americans. I do wish that both Fidel and Raul Castro realize their dream of a workers' paradise is completely dead before they die themselves so that they will learn from the wisdom that President Washington gave to future generations by creating a orderly, peaceful transfer of power within Cuba coupled by free and transparent elections.
Adios diablos rojos,