Friday, August 04, 2006

Whither Cuba?

Alvaro Vargas Llosa outlines 5 scenarios as Fidel moves slowly on to his reward:

1. Chinese / Vietnamese transition to a more market based ecomomy, but with all of the trappings typical of communist political oppression;
2. Polish transition to free markets and a free society;
3. Russian transition from Soviet rule to whatever it is that Russia is these days…. Definitely a freer society, but still with significant repressive tendancies, old line apparatchik hangers-on, etc. 4. “Fidelisimo” - using the cult of the dead leader. Probably temporary
5. Factional fighting / unrest, etc.

I doubt that Clown Crown Prince Raul has the ability to hang on to power very long, if only because he’s 75 and sickly as well. Key items seem to be a) how much is Chavez willing to meddle in Cuba? He’s got the oil money to keep the pot boiling. b) How effective can the US be in helping to transition Cuba to a liberal society? c) what do the exiles in Miami do? A delicate situation, calling for discerning judgement.

Smart money’s on factional fighting, junior officer led coups, chaos, and the descent from Cuba’s miserable standard of living to Haiti’s abysmal standard.