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Eighty year old Castro is ailing. His named successor, his brother (74), is worse. And at the Strategy Page, a glimpse into the near future is offered, taking particular note of the younger generation of Cubans who will almost certainly lead a charge to supplant communist rule with a democratic system and the free-market economy that accompanies it.

But a new generation of Cubans have been exposed to many embarrassing truths. Most awkward was the fact that, half a century ago, Cuba was the most prosperous and socially advanced island in the Caribbean. Communist rule has changed all that. While the communist increased literacy, and trained a lot of doctors, Cuban reading habits are heavily censored, and the medical system is primitive because the feeble economy cannot afford medicine or equipment to deliver effective care. Cuba has become an economic basket case, when, without Castro and his communists, it could have become an economic powerhouse.

Young Cubans also know what happened in Eastern Europe in 1989, and what has happened there, politically and economically, since. Just to rub it in, the new tourism enterprises in Cuba are sometimes visited by newly affluent East Europeans, and the money earned tends to go to members and associates of the Castro family. There is growing anger and unrest. For half a century, the American invasion never came, and the scare story is wearing thin.

Surely there are young thinkers in Cuba writing amongst themselves and concluding nearly every effort with a trademark "Más rápidamente satisfaga."

1 Comment

I have a unique solution for Cuba. We should turn the spigots of trade and tourism FULL ON. Nothing would change Cuba at this point faster than a wave of cash, trade, and tourism. It would simply swamp them. Nothing fosters capitalism more effectively than the smell of money.

Just as opening trade to China has resulted in huge changes, elimination of all trade restrictions with Cuba would swamp them with a flood of dollars so overwhelming that there is no way the aging leadership could react fast enough.

Individuals would find millions of individual ways to capitalize on the situation. There would be no stopping it. And once this economic steamroller rolled over Cuba, people lile Chavez in Venezuela would be hard pressed to explain why THEIR country isn't experiancing an economic miracle.

Today's policies are based on a 1960's ego. It's time to get past that and let Cuba have it with a giant dose of good old American capitalism. There's no way their current system could survive it. We would win them over in less than a decade.