In the all-too-real reality show that has been Fidel Castro’s Cuba, he made sure he never got voted off the island. Since 1959, he has ruled a communist hell of oppression and deprivation. Under his steel jackboot, the Cuban people could not speak, prosper, thrive, move, breathe.
Today, he announced his “resignation,” which means he already may be dead, as he was always one to go out feet first. His brother and comrade, Raul, is set to take over, and while Raul has promised “reforms,” he’s still a Castro. Meaning: he’s got the Castro “legacy”—such as it is—to defend. He says he’s going to try to update it. Good luck with that. The Cuban people are among the most intelligent, industrious, positive people in the world. They know what freedom is. They know what prosperity free-market capitalism can bring. They are ready to ditch the 1959 Cadillacs with fins and their rotary phones and join the 21st century.
The United States should do everything we can to insure a smooth transition to freedom. Lifting the embargo would be a good place to start, so Cubans can see for themselves the beauty and bounty of economic choice. That will, eventually, lead to greater pressure for political choice as well.
The Castro clan won’t just fade away. Fidel has survived 10 presidents, an invasion attempt, a blockade, sanctions, and a four-decades-long U.S. economic boycott. He can’t cheat death, however. And his ancient brother won’t be able to outwit the tide of history much longer either.
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