By Tim Padgett/TIME
“The church is doing more to plant the seeds of democracy on the island than the U.S.’s 50-year trade embargo against Cuba ever did. And when the Castro’s are in their graves, it’s a good bet the Cuban church will still be on its feet.”
It’s time for America to get over its 50-year tantrum.
Few will mourn this regime.
By Michael Reid/ECONOMIST
“ON JULY 31st 2006 Cuban state television broadcast a terse statement from Fidel Castro to say that he had to undergo emergency surgery and was temporarily handing over to his brother. This statement marked the start of a slow but irreversible dismantling of “socialism” in one of the few countries in which it survived into this century.
Raúl Castro, who formally took over as Cuba’s president in February 2008 and as first secretary of the Communist Party in April 2011, is trying to revive the island’s economy by transferring a substantial chunk of it from state to private hands.
He has abolished a few of the many restrictions that pervade Cubans’ lives.
He has also freed around 130 political prisoners.
His government has signed the UN covenants on human rights. Repression has become less brutal, though two prisoners have died on hunger strikes.
Cubans grumble far more openly than they used to, and academic debate has become a bit freer.
Calls for democracy and free elections are still silenced. The Communist Party remains the only legal political party in Cuba.
Raúl Castro has repeatedly dashed the hopes of many Cubans that the hated exit visa, which makes it hard (and for some, impossible) to leave the country, will be scrapped.”
- Pope, Castro meet as official squashes reform hopes (thegreatone22.wordpress.com)
- ‘Spring’ delayed as Cuba follows China’s model (csmonitor.com)
- Pope in Cuba: Trip shows how church playing balancing act (+video) (csmonitor.com)