"We all knew from day one this mumbo jumbo wouldn't fly. I'll call Washington and tell them they won."

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Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Alvaro Vargas Llosa looks at the prospects for post-Fidelismo Cuba:

Barring an unexpected comeback on the part of Fidel Castro, the fundamental question in Cuba now is whether Raul Castro is in a position to perpetuate the communist regime, or whether the politicians (in the Council of State), the ideologues (in the Communist Party) and the soldiers (in the armed forces)—and factions within each group—will begin a power struggle….

Many experts expect Raul Castro to follow the Chinese model. They point to the fact that he has traveled to Beijing on a number of occasions and that he expressed, as early as 1997, admiration for the combination of ruthless political control and market economics. They also think the signals he sent in 2001, hinting at some form of "normalization" of relations with the U.S., betray a closet pragmatist….This perspective carries much weight, and many elements would seem to point in that direction. However, I tend to think the more likely scenario is a power struggle in which Raul Castro will try to prevent change. The outcome of that struggle is uncertain, but it will make even a partial opening up of the system too risky for Raul and others.

The whole article—available to subscribers only, alas—is here.

Elsewhere in Reason: Damien Cave travels to Cuba and explores the black market here. Matt Welch travels to Cuba and visits a baseball historian here. I stay at home and write about Cuban poster art here.

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  1. I told you I’d be back! I told you!

    Stick me in a basement office checking invoices for seventeen years, will you? Laugh at me for writing about the color of Gorbachev’s birthmark, huh?

    HA! Who’s laughing now?!?

  2. The way to the solution is modeling: play Junta (Steve Jackson Games IIRC).

  3. “…he expressed, as early as 1997, admiration for the combination of ruthless political control and market economics. “

    Let a thousand McDonalds bloom.

  4. Jesse, I like the piece about the Cuban commie artwork. Glad to see I’m not the only pro-liberty person who has a soft spot for the totalitarian aesthetic.

  5. “the totalitarian aesthetic”

    Just check out the WWII memorial in DC…

    “Let a thousand McDonalds bloom.”

    amen. Bluejeans, Big Macs, and Coke will tear down any wall!

  6. “Let a thousand McDonalds bloom.”

    Why do you hate the Cubans, Mediageek?

  7. As for the WWII memorial: you are correct!

    That sad piece of shit celebrates US submission to Stalin. With this garbage, the nation defecates on brave young men (yes, MEN!, not feminists!) in celebration of our ongoing embrace of communism.

  8. i too enjoy the crisp, clean taste of drugs, JMoore. i would like to subscribe to your pamphlet.

  9. or whether the politicians (in the Council of State), the ideologues (in the Communist Party) and the soldiers (in the armed forces)

    for a second there i thought Tim wrote the article.

  10. Many experts expect Raul Castro to follow the Chinese model.

    And the chinese also want to go to the moon…I think my hippy friend would call that a synergism

  11. “Let a thousand McDonalds bloom.”

    amen. Bluejeans, Big Macs, and Coke will tear down any wall!

    screw that man…I am going to cuba to buy old cars cheap and beach front real estate cheap and exploit the fuck out of it.

  12. Fidel: “I’m not dead!”

    Doctor: “What?”

    Raul: “Nothing. Here’s your payment.”

    Fidel: “I’m not dead!”

    Doctor: “‘Ere. He says he’s not dead!”

    Raul: “Yes, he is.”

    Fidel: “I’m not!”

    Doctor: “He isn’t?”

    Raul: “Well, he will be soon. He’s very ill.”

    Fidel: “I’m getting better!”

    Raul: “No, you’re not. You’ll be stone dead in a moment.”

  13. There are several things that can happen in Cuba sans Castro. And there are things we might hope will happen. But personally me and mine are going to stay the hell away from the area until the dust settles. IMO the possibility of violence, particularly against anyone eligible for scapegoat (see: McDonalds) status, approaches 100%.

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