Fidel Castro Resigns

After nearly fifty years of rule, Fidel Castro has announced his resignation. The announcement came via letter, delivered in the middle of the night, to the state-run newspaper; an end of an era fitting its infamous overseer.

It is strange to see something like this come about despite the fact that it was inevitable. Castro has been rumored to have died several times, only for word to come about that he was indeed alive and well. Some would believe that Castro would continue to rule the country even after death, his moniker becoming the Dread Pirate Roberts of Cuban dictatorship, used long after the real Fidel Castro could no longer possibly be alive or of a mental state to rule a country.

When one man has led a country for nearly fifty years, it’s hard not to think such an arrangement might be permanent. To give you a little perspective, my mother was still in diapers when Castro, his brother Raul, and Che Guevara led a small revolutionary movement that overthrew then dictator Fulgencio Batista.

For a great many Americans, Fidel Castro is all we really knew. For far too many of us, the US embargo of the little island state has always been there, and for at least some of us, the hardliner stance has drifted into a kind of absurdity. The cold war ended long ago, and Cuba could hardly be seen as a serious National Security threat.

Indeed with Castro’s reign we seemed locked in this static dance that has outserved its purposes. The older generations understand and know what it was all supposed to be about, while younger generations looked at the entire situation with puzzled expressions on their faces. Indeed, I’ve noticed that the younger Cuban-American generations don’t share their parents’ and grandparents’ approval of strict hardliner policies towards Cuba, however, one could hardly blame the older generations for having them.

It is true, something about our relations with Cuba has to change, has to keep up with the march of time, and perhaps the changing of the guard from Fidel to Raul might offer that catalyst. Apparently, Raul is more reasonable than his older brother has been.

But I also find the timing of Fidel Castro’s retirement bothersome, and one wishes that he could have at least waited one more year; this just gives our current president one more arena in which to prove his incompetence. This is unfair, I know, but at the same time I can hardly be blamed for not trusting President Bush to undertake anything without screwing it up, let alone capitalizing upon a once in a lifetime opportunity to heal a rift between two neighboring countries.

One thing that truly bothers me is that too many will see this as yet more fertile ground in which to run another Chile experiment. Indeed, I worry that anyone seeking to do good or ill will rush too fast, and make things worse.

Like estranged lovers willing to give it another shot, we have to take this slow, we have to be patient, and we have to respect Cuba for who and what it is. We have got to learn who we are now, now that we’re older, maybe a little wiser, and maybe a little stupider for all the time that has passed.

UPDATE: Thanks to Jon Swift for linking in.

Edited by Kathy

One Response to “Fidel Castro Resigns”

  1. matthew says:

    Castro is very smart and i hate to see ignorant people speak about him because they dont know anything and they just eat the shit america feeds them about cuba. The goal is to keep cuba indipendent from america becuse america is a blood sucker and in cuba there is different values its not about all money so all of you idiots stop saying bad things about castro.


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