Hyperpat\’s HyperDay

SF, science, and daily living

The American Way

Posted by hyperpat on August 4, 2006

For the last few days, speculation has run rampant over Castro’s condition and what a post-Castro Cuba would look like. Whether Castro’s current problems will mean a transfer of power to his brother immediately or sometime in the future, however, I doubt if the basic structure of that government, its laws, or its economic and social conditions will change greatly, at least not for a long time. Americans like to think that dictatorships are inherently bad or evil, and that societies without a great amount of personal freedom are not viable in the long term. But they forget that any homogenous group of people generally get not only the government they deserve, but what they want, and dictatorships can be a very useful form of government. Apparently President Bush does not understand this point:

“If Fidel Castro were to move on because of natural causes,”

President Bush said on Miami’s Radio Mambi, just before the illness was announced, “we’ve got a plan in place to help the people of Cuba understand there’s a better way than the system in which they’ve been living under. No one knows when Fidel Castro will move on. In my judgment, that’s the work of the Almighty.”

Then, after the illness was announced Monday, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow put the administration’s thoughts in further order. There would be no reaching out to Raul Castro, because “Raul Castro’s attempt to impose himself on the Cuban people is much the same as what his brother did. The one thing that this president (Bush) has talked about from the very beginning is his hope for the Cuban people, finally, to enjoy the fruits of freedom and democracy. … We stand ready to help.”

No government that is truly hated by the majority of its citizens has lasted for any great length of time. The very fact that the current form of government in Cuba has lasted as long as it has, without a large amount of protest from its citizens (not counting the expatriates in Florida and elsewhere), indicates that in some ways at least Castro has met the desires of the Cuban populace. It would be a serious mistake on the part of US government to attempt to externally change their form of government, or to try to foment unrest in the populace.  But I’m sure this administration will try to bull its way through to trying to do exactly these items, in the absolute belief that only our way is right, and the whole world should be just like us.

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