Saturday, December 18, 2010

Raul Castro: I'm for Socialism Especially when It Is Capitalism

NYT reports on a fascinating speech by Raul Castro, who now leads the country as a result of his brother, Fidel's illness.

The speech continues to promote the move away from socialism, although couched in support of socialism. Here's NYT:
"The life of the revolution is in the balance," Castro said in a two-hour speech closing out a twice-yearly meeting of the island's national assembly. He repeated his contention that the dollop of limited capitalism being injected into the economy does not mean the end of the revolution's ideal to create an egalitarian utopia.

"The strategic economic changes are being made to sustain socialism," he said. "They are to preserve and strengthen socialism, so as to make it irrevocable."...

 He also warned his countrymen that they'll have to work in the new Cuba, and can no longer rely on the state for handouts.

"Many of us Cubans confuse socialism with freebies and subsidies, and equality with egalitarianism," the president said.
He also pointed out that the United States continues to maintain its vicious embargo, which only hurts the Cuban masses. NYT again:
"There isn't the slightest willingness on the part of the United States to change the policy against Cuba, not even to eliminate its most irrational aspect," he said. "The U.S. policy on Cuba does not have an ounce of credibility."

Washington has maintained an economic embargo on the communist-run country for 48 years, and effectively bars most U.S. tourists from visiting. Despite hopes by many that President Barack Obama would usher in a new era in Cuban-U.S. relations, little has changed and the countries remain enemies.

Two U.S. diplomatic cables from late 2009 recently released by WikiLeaks indicate Raul Castro was perhaps hoping to change that, requesting through a senior Spanish diplomat that a secret back channel be opened between him and the White House. The overture was rejected, however, and Castro was told that if he wanted to engage he should do so through normal channels.

Cuban officials have expressed exasperation that Washington is not more interested in talking, noting that the government has released many of the island's dissidents and that they are reforming the economy to inject more aspects of the free market.
Castro also announced that a major Communist Party Congress where many of the reforms are to be formalised will be held April 16-19, with the end date coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Cuba's victory in the U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion.

Viva La (Free Market) Revolution!


  1. Funny. Raul Castro adopts capitalism to save socialism, while George Bush adopts socialism to save capitalism.

    My guess is both will fail at their stated aims.

  2. About the same as our leaders who are all for Capitalism, especially when it's Socialism.