Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The big news over here this morning is that Fidel Castro has decided not to "run for reelection," and so a new president of Cuba named Raul will succeed him on Sunday. I'm not sure what difference this makes, since Raul isn't going to change any of Fidel's methods. Raul's not going to begin a transition to democracy, and if anybody in Cuba thinks differently they're going to find themselves in jail. He's had two years to consolidate himself in power, and there are no signs of any liberalization.

This leads to the slightly paranoid question of whether Fidel is still actually alive, or if he's been either dead or a vegetable the last couple of years. We haven't seen anything of him but videotapes, remember. I doubt that such a cover-up could actually be kept under wraps; somebody would blab. They might be able to carry off such a coverup with only ten or so people in the know, except that one of those ten people would be Hugo Chavez and there's no way he'd ever keep quiet about anything.

Spain's reaction has been what you'd expect: they hope for democratic progress and some sort of transition, but as long as Zap is in power they're not actually going to do anything about it.

Let's hope the extremist fringe among the Miami Cubans doesn't try anything dumb.

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