Castro Resigns as President for Life of Cuba; Wants to Spend More Time with Families

From the AP:

An ailing, 81-year-old Fidel Castro resigned as Cuba's president Tuesday after nearly a half-century in power, saying he will not accept a new term when parliament meets Sunday.

The end of Castro's rule - the longest in the world for a head of government - frees his 76-year-old brother Raul to implement reforms he has hinted at since taking over as acting president when Fidel Castro fell ill in July 2006. President Bush said he hopes the resignation signals the beginning of a democratic transition.

"My wishes have always been to discharge my duties to my last breath," Castro wrote in a letter published Tuesday in the online edition of the Communist Party daily Granma. But, he wrote, "it would be a betrayal to my conscience to accept a responsibility requiring more mobility and dedication than I am physically able to offer."

More here.

Earlier this year, Castro had said that there would be no change in the Cuba-U.S. relationship until that man in the White House had vamoosed. And George W. Bush, along with most Dems and Reps, haven't shown much interest in changing the ongoing, and idiotic, U.S. embargo of Cuba. (Two pols who dare speak logic on this issue are Reps. Jeff Flake and Charles Rangel).

U.S. policy toward Cuba has been generally misguided for well over a century. Here's hoping the Congress and the president will do something right to accelerate a shift to freedom there. And here's hoping that Cuba becomes a better place as Castro puts one foot into the grave. I don't believe in hell, but I sort of hope there is a place like it for a guy like Castro.

reason on Castro/Cuba here.

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  • Ali||

    The worst part of all this is that all the pro-embargo people will come out and say "see, I told ya, that's the only way we win, no matter how long we had to wait. It worked!"

  • ||

    will he get a presidential medal of freedom?

  • ktc2||

    The Castro is dead, long live the Castro?

    Or

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?

  • Episiarch||

    It's a shame that Fidel gets to die peacefully. A nice, bloody end would have been much more appropriate.

    Hey, there's still time, right?

  • Taktix®||

    Where's joe to tell us how Cuba is a democracy because Castro "stepped down" today?

  • LT Nixon||

    Good riddance. Say hi to Stalin for me you goon.

  • ||

    If Cuba becomes a functional country, where will Canadians and Europeans go for 3rd world misery vacations? What will be the next hot squalor spot? I hear Caracas in May is nice.

  • Episiarch||

    Kenya?

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    I guess this settles the question who will be Obama's running mate.

  • Canadian||

    Los Angeles

  • ||

    Can all of Kenya's problems be facilely blamed on America? If so, it's party time!

  • ||

    You've dropped a few notches in my estimation, Taktix.

    That was just lame.

  • ||

    Will Castro be moving to the Idi Amin Memorial Retirement Home for Despots in Saudi Arabia?

  • ||

    Raul is four years older than John McCain.

    The real post-Castro crisis will come when he goes, not yet.

  • JD||

    Somehow I don't think Taktix really cares, joe. And frankly, I thought the quip was spot-on.

  • Taktix®||

    You've dropped a few notches in my estimation, Taktix.

    Thanks joe. I'll take that as a complement.

  • ||

    I'm against the embargo on Cuba.Unlike Rangel and his ilk I was against the sanctions on South Africa.There lies the rub.If Rangel treated other oppressive regimes as he did the racist's in S.A. I might have some respect for him.

  • ||

    Well, like I always so, don't take advice on democracy from people who are philosophically opposed to it.

    If you can't see the difference between winning election, winning re-election, putting your policies up to a popular vote, and what Castro has done, your feelings about what I say about democracy don't really matter very much.

  • ||

    Michael Pack,

    Since we were South Africa's patron, the sanctions we enforced against them had a much greater chance of working than those against Cuba.

  • ||

    And frankly, I thought the quip was spot-on.


    And the fact that I've never written a word about Cuba being a democracy doesn't even enter into your thinking, does it?

    Just because you can't see the difference between a democratic state and an undemocratic one does not mean I am similarly deluded.

  • Michael Moore Liberal||

    BUT THEY HAVE UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE!!!1!!1111

  • ||

    I think we're going to miss the Castro family when they are gone.

    With them as living examples, communism is shown as a bad thing. One minute after they are gone, the revisionists will be making them into unappreciated martyrs to Marx's cause.

  • robc||

    That was just lame.

    See, joe, humor is based on the idea of taking something with a kernel of truth and exaggerating it. This makes it funny. Taktix was funny, not lame. You just dont have a sense of humor (I have noticed this in past threads where you take my obviously meant for humor comments as serious).

    Of course, explaining a joke makes it not at all funny.

  • ||

    I was hoping he was dead. Oh well.

    Lets all hope that Castro and Raul die slow, painful deaths and rot in hell for running what could have been a successful country straight into the ground.

  • ||

    Joe,that means nothing to me.Through trade we could have had more say in Cuba.As a matter of fact,many African nations treat their populations worse than S.A..I don't see the world outrage.Besides,Cuba is as or more oppressive than S.A. and the E.U. trades with them yet sanctioned S.A..This is apples and apples

  • ||

    robc,

    There is no kernel of the truth in the statement that I can be expected to claim Cuba is a democracy.

    That's why it's not funny.

  • Taktix®||

    Of course, explaining a joke makes it not at all funny.

    Perhaps, but seeing joe get all fired up, i.e. the original intent, is funny.

  • Episiarch||

    joe, just laugh. It feels good. Really, it does.

  • ||

    For someone without a sense of humor, robc, I certainly do get named the winner of a lot of threads.

    Maybe the attempt at humor just wasn't funny, unless you're predisposed towards seeing me insulted.

  • ||

    Sure it does, Episiarch. Like when I invoke joez law - that's funny, people laugh, it feels good.

  • Episiarch||

    I certainly do get named the winner of a lot of threads

    See, joe does have a sense of humor!

  • ||

    "joe wins the thread" 14 results

    "Episiarch wins the thread" 2 results

  • robc||

    joe,

    The kernel of truth is that Chavez == Castro. The fact that the Venezuelan people may not roll over like the Cuban people and let him rule like Castro is the exaggeration.

    I dont know why I bother explaining humor to people who dont get it.

  • ||

    "joe wins the thread" 14 results

    "Episiarch wins the thread" 2 results



    Great, what does this have to do with Castro again?

  • robc||

    joe,

    The proper measure is Thread Wins/Total Posts.

  • ||

    "The kernel of truth is that Chavez == Castro. The fact that the Venezuelan people may not roll over like the Cuban people and let him rule like Castro is the exaggeration."

    Wisest words I have heard today.

  • Episiarch||

    Beat this, joe.

  • ||

    Of course it is, robc. Can't have me looking good, after all.

    And if "Chavez=Castro" was the kernel of truth, than a joke about Chavez would have been funny. A joke about me defending Castro, no, not so much, really.

  • Episiarch||

    Great, what does this have to do with Castro again?

    Who?

  • ||

    Oh come on joe, it is funny.
    I dont think you should measure thread wins/total posts. What should be measured here is how many think Taktix post was funny? I do.

  • ||

    That was a pretty big win, Episiarch. Gotta grant you that.

  • Bagger||

    "I dont know why I bother explaining humor to people who dont get it."

    joe gets it. He just believes that his vastly superior intellect exempts him from rib poking from lesser beings such as yourself.

  • ||

    This is only a mild (at best) defense of Chavez, but I will note that Chavez continues to hold apparently free and fair elections, opposition parties exist fairly openly, etc. From the standpoint of democratic processes there have been far worse national leaders.

  • ||

    Somebody's got to break it to you, Taktix: you're no Al Franken.

  • Dr. Freud||

    Yawn. Fidel retired in 2006.

  • robc||

    P Brooks,

    Since Franken hasnt done anything funny since "the year of Al Franken", I guess Taktix should take that as a compliment.

  • Taktix®||

    "joe wins the thread" 14 results

    "Episiarch wins the thread" 2 results


    Just another example of why a popular vote doesn't necessarily imply a mandate for absolute power.

  • stuartl||

    Isn't this morning's real winner of joe's democracy award Pakistan?

  • Charles||

    Man, I'm glad this turned into an irritating pissing contest about who is the funnier poster at a blog 99% of the country has never heard of.

  • Taktix®||

    Charles,

    That was pretty funny...

  • Episiarch||

    I'm king of the (little) shitpile!

  • ||

    One step closer to spending my money in Cuba!!! *does the rain dance*

  • ||

    robc- you are correct. Actually, I have never thought Franken was funny. But I'm not a progressive.

  • ||

    All baseball lovers can't wait until the Havana Sugar Kings become a major league team.
    Imagine the fierce rivalry with the Miami Marlins. And the Texas and Arizona teams need major league clubs in Mexico City and Monterey.

  • ||

    Two pols who dare speak logic on this issue are Reps. Jeff Flake and Charles Rangel

    Strange bedfellows. Is there any other policy position those two agree on?

  • ||

    I was surprised myself when Barney Frank spoke out in favor of free trade (even quoted Hayek IIRC). Hes the last person I'd expect to do that.

  • ed||

    Ding, dong, the witch is dead!
    Well, not yet, but you know what I mean.
    Um, does Raul have any kids?
    Just wondering.

  • D.A. Ridgely||

    I was surprised myself when Barney Frank spoke out in favor of free trade (even quoted Hayek IIRC). Hes the last person I'd expect to do that.

    He was misquoted, Cesar, speaking out in favor of rough trade.

  • ||

    Barney Frank is the smartest person on Capitol Hill.

    Of course he spoke out against the embargo.

  • thoreau||

    Sorry to break up everybody's pissing match over thread victories, but I think edna wins this one:

    will he get a presidential medal of freedom?



    And to make this easily trackable for Google posterity:

    "edna wins the thread."

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I don't believe in hell...

    Castro does. He calls it Cuba.

  • ||

    All baseball lovers can't wait until the Havana Sugar Kings become a major league team.
    Imagine the fierce rivalry with the Miami Marlins. And the Texas and Arizona teams need major league clubs in Mexico City and Monterey.


    This baseball lover agrees. I think major league baseball would go over swimmingly south of the border. Though I hadn't considered it, MLB works in a free Cuba as well.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I realize I've been away on strike for a while, but don't ML ballplayers still play winter ball in various Latin American leagues?

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Oh, wait. Erase, Erase, Erase, I din't read that carefully enough.

  • ||

    I realize I've been away on strike for a while, but don't ML ballplayers still play winter ball in various Latin American leagues?

    The minor leaguers and those major leaguers still honing their skills do. IIRC, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic both have pretty competitive baseball.

  • ||

    Castro...[w]ants to Spend More Time with Families



    I don't think he'll be able to get a visa to move to Miami.

  • Robert||

    This is going to read as weird, but much as I revile Castro in the abstract, I imagine that if I ever sat down with him, I'd ask him things like what advice he had for people considering entering politics.

  • ||

    I was surprised myself when Barney Frank spoke out in favor of free trade (even quoted Hayek IIRC). Hes the last person I'd expect to do that.

    What does it mean when a leftist only speaks out in favor of free trade with Communists?

  • ||

    He doesn't.

    You are making uniformed assumptions.

  • ||

    And uninformed assumptions, even.

  • ||

    Little, poorly-informed assumptions, all dressed the same. With insignia.

    RC's assumptions are kind of like mall security.

  • ||

    Just because you can't see the difference between a democratic state and an undemocratic one does not mean I am similarly deluded.

    Seeing how Castro functions in a nation without a history of democracy and seeing how Castro (chavez) functions in a nation with a history of democracy does not make the second Castro any less a thug.

    It goes like this:

    "Good job Venezuela for being a democracy"

    not like this

    "Good job Castro (chavez) for being a democrat"

    That is the difference between your soft on socialist thugs and us joe.

  • ||

    Sorry to break up everybody's pissing match over thread victories, but I think edna wins this one:

    will he get a presidential medal of freedom?


    YAY!!!

    If we don't get enough bashing of a lame duck president who will be out of office in less then 12 month from the Democrat primaries we can always count on therou to keep up the fight.

  • ||

    If and when the Communist regime there collapses, some of the Cuban-American exile community are likely to go sashaying into Cuba and start throwing their weight around. And when this naturally causes conflicts with native-born Cubans, the exiles are going to demand the U.S. government intervene on their behalf - and given past history, the U.S. government is going to do whatever they want.

  • ||

    "RC's assumptions are kind of like mall security." - joe

    Ouch!!!

    But really, you don't want to be caught making fun of that badge, and the mall security department. They got this new guy, Officer Rivieri, that will tear you up.

  • Warmongering Lunatic||

    The only thing more pointless than the embargo is the debate over the embargo.

    No embargo wouldn't have changed anything. Cuba's miseries would then have been blamed by Castro on Yankee capitalist greed instead of the Yankee embargo, and whenever markets fomented trouble, there'd have been another round of nationalizations (like what happened in the tourism industry earlier this decade). Trade and investment and tourism from the U.S., up to the limits Castro would have allowed, wouldn't have been any more transforming than the trade and investment and tourism Castro allowed from Canada and Europe.

    Hey, now that Fidel Castro is no longer a head of state, I'm looking forward to seeing him pursued just as vigilantly by European prosecutors and Amnesty International as Pinochet was.

  • ||

    Cuba=baseball? How veddy Yanqui of us. Wot, no comment on the sugar plutocracy? Isn't there a Hershey stock play available in all this?

    I can't wait for wish-I-was cigar aficianados to discover just how crappy Cuban leaf has become. You could make a strong case for backing a Dominican (or Connecticut) invasion.

    Thousands of wondrous 1950's mechanics are about to gain access to our old car market. When the Cubans find out we've killed off DeSoto, Studebaker and Plymouth while they were out, they're going to be justifiably miffed. Rambler, maybe, not so much.

  • ||

    Funny but none of the 'news' articles used the phrases 'Communist tyrant' or 'totalitarian gulag' or 'HIV epidemic'. I don't get it.

  • ||

    I assume the author of this piece has elaborated elsewhere on this untethered sentence in the above post: "U.S. policy toward Cuba has been generally misguided for well over a century."

    Unfortunately there are no references which would help one discover how the author arrived at this conclusion. Perhaps it's just the usual ideological libertarian posturing of "the only good foreign policy is a dead foreign policy."

    OK, what's the alternative "U.S. policy" toward Cuba and what would that new and improved policy have achieved. Let's assume that even the author of this piece seeks more freedom for the Cuban people. After all, even foreign brown people deserve the benefits of libertarianism.

    So now, of what does this alternative "U.S. policy" consist? Perhaps a European policy of open communications and trade (read more money in pockets of business and political elites). The Europeans have successfully masked their "money talks, nobody walks" policy by arguing that it promotes a more open Cuban society. How has that worked out?

    Of course it could be argued that the U.S. could more effectively implement this kind of policy. Maybe our economic dominance of the region could accomplish what the Europeans have been unable to accomplish? Unfortunately, that assumes that the Castro regime would somehow be less capable of building the necessary firewalls between the outside world and the mass of Cubans.

    Actually, the real failure of "U.S. policies" was the lack of cojones by JFK to finish the Bay of Pigs invasion once it started. Let's just imagine what Cuba would be like now if the past 46 years had seen an open society under free market economics rather than the smothering Castro tyranny and resultant poverty.

  • dreamboat||

    I didn't even read the article. But I will in a minute. I just wanted to say that Nick Gillespie is a gorgeous hunk of a man so whatever he says must be right.

  • Swen Swenson||

    I don't believe in hell...

    That's okay Nick. You may not believe in the devil, but I'm sure he believes in you!

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