Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fidel Castro's Gorbachev Moment

A week ago, Fidel Castro told a reporter for the Atlantic Monthly, in response to a question as to whether the Cuban model could be exported to other countries, responded that "the Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore." It was reported yesterday morning
on the Atlantic website.

This is pretty big news in Latin America, particularly on the left, where support for Cuban Communism remains fairly strong. For example, the Mexican left newspaper "La Jornada" has a full page article on it: It's all over the Brazilian papers, the Argentine, the Ecuadorean.

In Venezuela, the anti-Chavez opposition thinks it's a pretty relevant statement, since Castro has said he sees no difference between Chavez's policies and communism in Cuba.

The left websites in Venezuela are also discussing the statement: they express the wish that Cuba release the official transcript of Castro's remarks.

Cuban papers haven't mentioned it to Cubans yet. The official Communist Party daily, Granma, has not reported:, nor has Prensa Latina, or Juventud Rebelde, the "youth" paper.

Twenty-five years ago, Fidel Castro conducted a purge of the Communist Party of Cuba and of public employment, getting rid of "Gorbachevites", who believed in the need for perestroika, a rebuilding of Soviet Communism--for Cuba.

Fidel Castro was the prime author of the "Cuban model" over a fifty year period, and certainly its most famous exponent, world-wide. If he has decided it doesn't work, shouldn't people in Cuba be allowed to find out?