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


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.