Fidel Castro Resigns; US Sanctions Fail

I posted on Twitter this morning about Fidel Castro’s resignation as president of Cuba and commander-in-chief of Cuba’s military.

I heard the news in the morning, and thought about posting it on the blog, but I didn’t really have much to say about it. It’s hard to really judge a person like Fidel Castro who is seen as a hero by so many people and a hated dictator by so many others; it’s obvious both sides have credible and real points; in the end, all I hope for is for things to get better for the Cuban people, whether it be from the sanctions or from his rule.

Anyway, what made me change my mind and write about it is this entry by Jon Swift, titled: Castro Resigns! Sanctions Work!

I just couldn’t believe the logic behind it; this person and several commenters on his blog actually think the US sanctions worked and that they were behind Fidel Castro finally giving up and resigning.

Just a few facts: The U.S. has been trying to get rid of Fidel Castro for 50 years now, 10 U.S. administrations have tried to topple him, there have been 638 assassination attempts against him, strict sanctions have been imposed on the country; and nothing worked.

To even suggest that the sanctions are what made Fidel Castro take this decision is unrealistic, laughable, and naive.

Plus, what about his decision is a victory for the U.S.?
I don’t think they were against Fidel as a person, but rather against his regime; will it make any difference under his brother Raul’s rule?

The man is only leaving because he’s a step away from the grave; he’s been seriously ill for a few years now; and everyone has been expecting to hear about him passing away anytime now.

Sanctions don’t work! Period!
All they do is ruin the lives of millions of citizens, while helping the rulers/dictators strengthen their grip on the country and make things even worse.
Sanctions haven’t worked in Cuba, they haven’t worked in Iraq, they didn’t work in Libya, they’re not working in Iran, nor are they working in Zimbabwe, …etc.

The US sanctions were/are a failure; Fidel Castro finally left of his own free will; after all he could have chosen to rule until his death.

  • Janissary

    Though Cuba is but 50 miles off the coast of Florida, to visit it U.S. citizens have to go through another country–often Mexico. Returning home with a Cuban visa in our passports, we’re then fined ten thousand dollars and told we’re getting off lightly, as the government is graciously not going to prosecute us. (Some very few approved visits are allowed with suspicion but without penalty.)

    The Cubans, for their part, are quite hungry for US dollars, so visitors are mostly confined to the area of highly-overpriced tourists hotels and eateries in Havana and have the security of being escorted everywhere, making impromptu chats with the locals difficult. When Obama’s elected, this ideological idiocy will end. Cuba’s a lovely country, the people very gracious and welcoming and we’d like to visit it before it becomes hugely expensive and is carved up for development.

    Here’s a tale from the good ol’ days when the Russians, who we then called the Soviets, had a large presence in Cuba:

    One bright morning, at the National Security Agency headquaters at Ft. Meade, Maryland, cargo container was delivered to a storage area at NSA. It sat there for sometime, the eletronics gear inside activated, the container itself ignored until one day a truck came, picked it up and hauled it off to the Port of Baltimore. There it was loaded onto a cargo container ship. The ship sailed south. Somewhere within in U.S. waters off of Florida it was stopped by a U.S. Coast Guard cutter, which dispatched a boarding party. The boarding party–a lieutenant and several enlisted men–had a the ID of the container from NSA and ordered it opened. Inside to the amazement of all, was a marvelous array of electronic monitoring equipment, still active, the tape recording reels still slowly turning. (This was some years ago.)

    The Coast Guardsmen thanked the cargo ship’s crew and had the cargo container lowered onto the cutter. Declining an offer of scotch, they disappeared over the horizon, spy gear safely in hand. All’s well that ends well.

    Problem: it wasn’t a Coast Guard cutter. (DGI–Cuban counter intelligence service.)

    I do sometimes miss the black and whites of the Cold War. John LeCarre’s recent elegant spy novels are now so justly cynical. (I commend his book “Absolute Friends” to your attention if you haven’t read it.)

    MMM: please convey my apologies to your good wife–I owe her an email as fine as her own. My former student keeps trying to kill himself with drugs and now alcohol; three hospitalizations in the last seven weeks, the most recent one this past weekend. He’s returned home for now, I’m taking a mental health break this week and will catch up on my correspondence this week. (Once I discuss with some of my students why they’ve failed, during my major distractions, to have turned in some assignments. You may be able to hear me shouting from Tunis, he typed, staring again in stark disbelief at his Excel grade book. :( )

    Cheers,

    J.

  • http://www.unclecheese.net nick

    I think that you should probably consider (or maybe look up) who the original Jon Swift was, and then reconsider the meaning of his post.