February 20, 2008

Presidential Candidates and Castro’s resignation

"It's very clear that there's a transition underway from Fidel Castro to some other form of government. Unfortunately, at the moment, that form of government is not an elected democracy..."

Both McCain and Obama urged the release of political prisoners, Clinton called for democratic reform in Cuba, which Huckabee says, will not be possible until Castro is dead.

Presented are the Candidate reactions:

Barack Obama…

“Today should mark the end of a dark era in Cuba’s history. Fidel Castro’s stepping down is an essential first step, but it is sadly insufficient in bringing freedom to Cuba.

“Cuba’s future should be determined by the Cuban people and not by an anti-democratic successor regime. The prompt release of all prisoners of conscience wrongly jailed for standing up for the basic freedoms too long denied to the Cuban people would mark an important break with the past. It’s time for these heroes to be released.

“If the Cuban leadership begins opening Cuba to meaningful democratic change, the United States must be prepared to begin taking steps to normalize relations and to ease the embargo of the last five decades. The freedom of the Cuban people is a cause that should bring Americans together.”

Hillary Clinton…

“As you know, Fidel Castro announced that he is stepping down as Cuba’s leader after 58 years of one-man rule. The new leadership in Cuba will face a stark choice—continue with the failed policies of the past that have stifled democratic freedoms and stunted economic growth—or take a historic step to bring Cuba into the community of democratic nations. The people of Cuba want to seize this opportunity for real change and so must we.

“I would say to the new leadership, the people of the United States are ready to meet you if you move forward towards the path of democracy, with real, substantial reforms. The people of Cuba yearn for the opportunity to get out from under the weight of this authoritarian regime, which has held back 11 million talented and hardworking citizens of the Americas. The new government should take this opportunity to release political prisoners and to take serious steps towards democracy that give their people a real voice in their government.

“The American people have been on the side in the Cuban people’s struggle for freedom and democracy in the past and we will be on their side for democracy in the future.

“As President, I will engage our partners in Latin America and Europe who have a strong stake in seeing a peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba, and who want very much for the United States to play a constructive role to that end. The United States must pursue an active policy that does everything possible to advance the cause of freedom, democracy and opportunity in Cuba.

“The events of the past three days, including elections in Pakistan and Kosovo’s declaration of independence, are a vivid illustration of people around the world yearning for democracy and opportunity. We need a President with the experience to recognize and seize these opportunities to advance America’s values and interests around the world. I will be that President.”

John McCain

"Today's resignation of Fidel Castro is nearly half a century overdue. For decades, Castro oversaw an apparatus of repression that denied liberty to the people who suffered under his dictatorship.

"Yet freedom for the Cuban people is not yet at hand, and the Castro brothers clearly intend to maintain their grip on power. That is why we must press the Cuban regime to release all political prisoners unconditionally, to legalize all political parties, labor unions and free media, and to schedule internationally monitored elections.

"Cuba's transition to democracy is inevitable; it is a matter of when - not if. With the resignation of Fidel Castro, the Cuban people have an opportunity to move forward and continue pushing for the moment that they will truly be free. America can and should help hasten the sparking of freedom in Cuba. The Cuban people have waited long enough."

Mike Huckabee

“The Cuban people deserve nothing less than free and fair elections which would provide the only hope for a prosperous and democratic Cuba. Until Fidel Castro is dead there can be no significant movement towards reform in Cuba. Raul Castro has proven that he’s as much a tyrant and dictator as his brother Fidel. Simply providing more power to another dictator does nothing to promote freedom and democracy to the Cuban people.”

Other views:

Says Aurora at The Midnight Sun, “A Marxist is a Marxist and you know what to expect; totalitarian control, poverty for the masses and equal repression for all…” read more

Says Ken Taylor at TheLiberal Lie the Conservative truth, “By handing power over to Raul offically while he is still alive, Fidel has insured that Communism will still rule as well as the Castros remaining in absolute power”... read more

Michelle Malkin reminds us that the U.S. trade embargo will remain…read more

U.S. State Department, "It's very clear that there's a transition underway from Fidel Castro to some other form of government. Unfortunately, at the moment, that form of government is not an elected democracy. So we remain hopeful that the Cuban people will one day be able to elect their leaders; that they will one day be able to actually build democratic institutions that serve the needs of the people and that reflect the will of the people. And more immediately, that you will see a day where political prisoners, who are being held in Cuban jails only for speaking their minds, will be released." see video below

More accurately, where only talking of a succession not a transition, in fact, one that took place some time ago and, I might venture to suggest, there is nothing to indicate a move to democracy. Its 11 million people are plagued by low levels of disposable income and very high prices in a command economy with a single party system; hardly anything to get excited about. So where to for Cuba now? I foresee a gradual opening of its economy but with rigid political check; the early China model.

Over to you


Aurora said...

Otto, I find it fascinating that both Obama and Clinton, noted enthusiasts of Marxist Saul Alinsky would now be gushing forth their denunciations of Marxist Castro. It's amazing what someone will say right before an election!
Thanks for the link. Nice roundup of quotes and commentary, as usual.

American Interests.blog said...

aurora: No probs, good points and thanks for coming by ...

Karen said...

I don't see much change coming forth in Cuba. Some hold out a bit of hope that the younger Castro is more reform minded. I actually heard some 'expert' on the television this morning say that Cuba continues to grow and the population is doing ok. Good Lord. Clueless.

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

One Castro is the same as the other only the first name changes.

Thanks for the plug BTW!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Ken, I really don't think anything will change. I think democracy will be a long time coming. Guess we will just have to wait and see, but I really don't see anything drastic enough to make it worthwhile.

USpace said...

Interesting angle. Castro is human garbage who has killed thousands of Cubans in his failed pursuit of a communist paradise.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
Castro was BRILLIANT

like Marx, Lenin and Mao
he helped redefine EVIL

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
celebrities are GUILTY

of having talent and luck
so they must praise dictators

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never admit you were wrong

Communism’s FANTASTIC
BEST false ideology

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
keep your people poor

deny them decent health care
convince them they have it GREAT

Fidel Castro
murderous tyrant
- fools' hero

communist freedom killer
imprisons many poets...




American Interests.blog said...

Karen: No expert he was...

Ken Taylor: No worries about BTW...

Conservative Chic: That's right, no holding our breath for real change, thanx...

American Interests.blog said...

uspace: Welcome to AI

WomanHonorThyself said...

I might venture to suggest, there is nothing to indicate a move to democracy...and u would be spot on Otto!

MK said...

From one dictator to another, it'll just be the same old same old. Once they get into power it's very hard to get them out. It's the nature of these commies and socialists.

USpace said...

Thank you AI!


Tapline said...

Otto, Excellent Post. I think McCain has an excellent handle on the situation. I would not however hold any credence with the remarks of the State Department. they haven't been right about much in quite some time....I do not see why keeping an embargo on them is essential to our national security. They have survived in spite of our actions. Let them live and stop hurting the people.....Enough already.....stay well...

American Interests.blog said...

angel: Thanks!!!

mk: Same old same old ... certainly will be for the time being...

American Interests.blog said...

tap and uspace: Appreciate the comments...