Tag Archives: Cuba

European Union Ends Diplomatic Sanctions On Cuba

The European Union took steps to end diplomatic sanctions against the Cuban regime in order to shift gears into a more effective approach to bringing about change in Cuba. The action created anger in the Bush administration which believes its complete ban on Cuba has somehow resulted in changes that benefit the forces of democracy in that nation. Actually, the EU action is rather limited since it merely lifts the ban on high ranking Cuban officials being able to visit Europe. Benit Ferrero-Waldner, EU External Relations Commissioner, said “there will be clear language also on what the Cubans still have to do–releasing prisoners, really working on human rights questions.” The EU is clear that it still regards the Castro regime as repressive and in violation of basic human rights.

Bans rarely work in the real world. There are some signs Casto’s brother is instituting a few changes that open up the economy and he may well be more receptive to reconsidering his nation’s human rights policy. The more Cuban leaders are engaged with Europe’s political world, the more probable is the opportunity for freedom in Cuba.

Fidel Steps Down, Old Age Steps To The Plate

The aging, ailin Cuban leader Fidel Castro finally agreed to step down as president of his nation after 49 years of being the man in charge of everything. He informed the National Assembly, “I communicate to you that I will not apsire or accept…the positions of President of the Council of State and Commander in Chief.” The National Assembly is expected to nominate his brother and designated successor, Raul Castro, as president of Cuba. Fidel has survived many key events of the 20th century including the Cold War, the Cuba Missile Crisis, the attempted invasion of his nation by forces put together by the CIA, and a close working relationship with leaders of the Communist Soviet Union. The Soviet Union is gone, but Fidel’s Cuba has barely changed.

Fidel Castro undoubtedly loves Cuba, but he has never really grasped that a true lover seeks to do what is best for the object of love, not for himself. He has held tightly to power and denied the right of others to question his authority or actions. The nomination of brother Raul merely keeps a group of old men chugging along with their old ideas and their old fears. Cuba has become an Old Folks home led by men who live in the past and will not allow their people to take a step into the 21st century. The tragedy of Fidel Castro is that he got rid of the dictator Batista only to become the man he replaced.