Friday, August 04, 2006

Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated. Signed, Fidel Castro

As everyone now knows, including the guys under the polar icecap in charge of watching North Korea, Cuba's president was taken ill and handed over the reins of government to his brother, Raul.

Castro may not be dead yet but he is mighty long in the tooth at about 80. Guys who've lived a charmed life like he has sooner or later meet the end that all of us come to one way or another, and statistically, Fidel may not get too many more lucky breaks before his ticket's punched for good. He's dodged a lot of deviltry that was planned for him by scoundrels near and far, and he has outlived a fair number of said scoundrels, including more than one U.S. president.

The real question on everyone's mind is what's going to happen in Cuba after Castro.

Will the embargo survive in some form until the next government bends the knee to Washington, and will the exiles have any say in affairs there? How in the dickens are all these land claims going to be sorted out? Is there a reason to think that the folks who stayed home and stayed the course are going to roll out the red carpet (no pun intended) for those who cut and ran? Will it be like old times with some newly minted Fulgencio Batista in command of this informal American colony? What is to be done with the rather large and grumpy Cuban military?

All these are open questions. It's been my opinion that the alleged embargo was nothing but the yankee dog being wagged by the tail of some very loud and provocative groups of expats in south Florida who just never got over the fact that they were whupped and whupped soundly at the Bay of Pigs, and everything they tried thereafter made them out to be the bumbling poseurs that they are. There is no reason to think that they will be any more successful than they have been. Anyway, life's just too comfortable in Miami where you can sit around on your butt, drink coffee in the middle of the day when you should be out working, and no matter how low you are you can always piss on Fidel.

In being bitchy, they dragged the rest of us into their squalid mess, to the detriment of American farmers and business people of every sort. Cuba knows where it would push its grocery cart if it had its druthers, and that is in the States. The cost to the Cuban people has been substantial-the cost to the American farmer and his city counterpart has been incalculable. Now, we see that there's offshore oil to be had in the channel between Cuba and Key West, that we won't have a shot at because of the completely idiotic policy of the embargo.

If there ever was a valid reason for it, it's long since past. We have free trade with Viet Nam, where 50,000 of our boys died, and we have free trade with China, both of which are at least nominally Communist countries. President Nixon went to China-probably one of the few smart things he ever did, and it's been good for both countries. Trade is generally a good thing-so let's have the trade.

We here at the Dougloid Papers have reserved our bleacher seats for the coming festivities, although we think that most of the emigres will find things somewhat more complicated than they believe, when the victory parade's over and it's time to clean up the mess. We also will take our seats in the sure knowledge that they have been paid for a hundredfold by the idiotic and futile embargo that has punished the Cuban people and the American farmer long enough.


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