Earlier on Sunday, before the grand Oscar hoopla started, Raul Castro, the Jerry Van Dyke of communist tyranny, officially took charge of the revolution in Cuba, thus ensuring at least a few more years of despotism and poverty for the unfortunate people of that misbegotten island:
Cuba marked a historic milestone in its revolution Sunday as Raul Castro took over as president from his brother Fidel, defying the United States with pledges not to abandon the communist path.
"Fidel is irreplaceable; the people will continue his work when he is no longer with us physically, though his ideas always will be here," Raul Castro, 76, told lawmakers in his acceptance speech.
"I accept the responsibility I have been given with the conviction I have repeated often: there is only one Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution: Fidel is Fidel and we all know it well."...
Raul Castro vowed to be on guard against its powerful northern neighbor the United States, saying "we have taken note of the offensive and openly meddling declarations by the Empire (as Cuba refers to Washington) and some of its closest allies."
More here, via AFP.
There's no question in my mind that the U.S. embargo/boycott of Cuba is not only immoral and misguided but ineffective at its stated goal of bringing the Castro regime tumbling down. Here's hoping that policy changes, and changes quickly.
But as Michael C. Moynihan pointed out just last week (and as reason has over the years in its coverage of Castro and Cuba), the Castro Bros. deserve a special place in hell for the horrors that they have brought to the land they've governed for the past 40-odd years. And the brothers' defenders in the free world deserve a long time in purgatory, at the very least.
The odd Oscar connection: Perhaps it's a harbinger of true change that the winner of the Academy Award for supporting actor, Javier Bardem, was previously nomnated for an Oscar for his portrayal in Before Night Falls of Cuban poet-prisoner Reinaldo Arenas.
Bonus Oscar connection: former reasoner Tim Cavanaugh looks at the Big Gummint pretext for the Coen Brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou?, which involves among other things the Tennessee Valley Authority.