NEWS

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August 2, 2006

Castro's illness is no reason to celebrate

I wonder if Castro was ever really all that sick. I mean, does this strike you as the type of guy who—if he was actually going in for serious surgery—would announce it to the whole world? Many in South Florida have been celebrating, thinking that this is the real thing, but I’m not so optimistic.Castro knows he is going to die and this seems like a dry run for the change in power that will occur at his death. I have long argued that the US should be making efforts to destabilize the Castro regime before his death. This only reinforces that argument. If his brother manages to easily take control upon Castro’s demise, it will just extend the horrible Castro regime. Of course, Castro’s brother—Raul—is 75 and rumored to be in poor health. But, if Castro dies and power is successfully passed within the present regime it will make it clear that the communist government isn't a personality cult, but a powerful centralized regime that can pass power from successor to successor.This test run of a Castro-less Cuba is no reason to celebrate; it is a glimpse at what Cuba will be like when Fidel dies. The fact that all has been calm and quiet in Havana is the most ominous sign we can see now. This is no time to be celebrating.