February 19, 2008

I'll Trade You a Castro for a Castro

I must admit that I know very little about the history of Cuba or the government run by Fidel Castro for the past 49yrs other than what I hear in the news about things like: communism, dictatorship, economic embargo, human rights issues, native Cubans fleeing their country, etc. Early today Fidel said that he was stepping down as the president of Cuba and experts say that things have been set in place so that Fidel's younger (and by "younger" I mean 76yrs old, not 81) brother Raul will be the country's next president and not much is expected to change. So the people of Cuba are trading one Castro for another. You can read an article from the BBC here.

The thing that jumps out to me the most in all of this is the continual push by the government of the U.S. to insist that every other country and peoples around the world desire to live in a democracy. Now don't freak out and think that I'm somehow anti-democracy but I wonder what it might feel like to have another country from the other side of the planet, with a completely different (and very short comparatively) history and mix of cultures say that the way they do government is the best and only way? I must admit to you however that there are times when I struggle with our attitude and approach as a nation to some things on the global stage, where we come across as not only knowing what's best but that we are the best. I wonder if humility could ever play into a foreign policy...nah, surely not.


NEALLL said...

Its pretty clear where american pride is taking us. If anyone really believes that the Islamic peoples in the middle east need or even WANT democracy then you are fooling yourself. and if the people of Cuba really truly desired democracy they would have it by now. The will of the people cannot be resisted.

alison said...

what's interesting about the Cuba situation is that the U.S. backed Batista (who was in charge before Castro) even though he was a dictator and killed countless innocent citizens. But...he was friendly towards the U.S. and had foreign powers' desires in mind. In addition, 49 or so years ago, Castro said he was going to create a democracy in Cuba, and obviously he failed to do that. But...I'd say his communist revolution was/is at least a step up from the dictatorship, in some respects.

And, on another topic...how crazy is it that you can't travel to Cuba from the U.S.? I mean...you can do it from Canada. What's our problem?

Once again, I am not well-versed on this topic and may or may not know what I'm talking about. Most of what I know is what I've taken from my Latin American Lit. course.