The writing's on the wall–the bathroom wall–for the most beloved and long-lived dictator in the Western hemisphere:
Scrawled in Spanish on the bathroom wall at Miami's most famous Cuban eatery, Versailles, are several unflattering and unquotable descriptions of Fidel Castro.
Beneath the defamatory remarks about the communist leader who has ruled Cuba for 48 years reads simply "Castro es muerte" (Castro is dead)—a bit of wishful thinking shared by many in this city's exile community.
Unfortunately, the U.S. seems not to be particularly interested in proactively influencing whatever comes next.
House Foreign Affairs Committee member Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, introduced a bill last week that would lift the restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba.
"Far from hastening democratic reforms, our current policy has given Fidel Castro a convenient scapegoat for his own regime's failures," said Mr. Flake, an avid critic of U.S. policy on Cuba.
"With the Cuban government taking new shape [under Raul Castro], we shouldn't give the new leader the same excuses we've given the old one."
The initiative is not being well-received by Cuban-American political leaders, who see it as an unwelcome concession to Mr. Castro and his brother.
More, from a Washington Times account, here.
For a great account of how "Castro got his job through The New York Times," check out the March issue of Reason, on newsstands now. Contributing Editor Glenn Garvin ponders the role of Herbert L. Matthews, the Timesman "who invented Fidel," according to a recent bio. Garvin explores the origins and longevity of the Castro mythos, with a great eye for how the mainstream media–not just the Times but magazines such as Life and the broadcast networks too–pumped up Castro.
Needless to say, if you subscribed to Reason for less than $20 a year, you'd already be reading our cover story.