Some May 26 remarks by former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice are being quoted widely in Cuba blogs as an example of … I don’t know what.
“I do think that particularly in Cuba when Fidel Castro dies, and he will eventually, that his brother is going to find that he is not just going to be able to appropriate Fidel Castro’s authority to himself. And I would hope that by then the international community would have said to Cuba, you need a way to a transition to democracy. Rather than hoping that Raul Castro somehow is going to be a reformer, state the principals, start to put into place a transition for a democratic transition. It may take a while, because there are no institutions in Cuba, but particularly the Organization of American States, where Cuba is the only country that cannot take up its seat at the Organization of American States, because it doesn’t have an elected president. And the European Union needs to be speaking out for the right for the Cubans for that transition.”
These Cuba comments were brief and extemporaneous, so she deserves some slack for the unconnected reference to the OAS and the bizarre statement that there are “no institutions in Cuba.” But there’s not a lot here, to say the least. She left out the idea of naming a “Cuba Transition Coordinator” in the U.S. government, as the Bush Administration did.
I did like her anecdote about Iraq’s Supreme Court defending an Iraqi citizen’s right to travel to any country of his choice:
“And I’ll just tell you one little vignette that says something about what happens when political institutions are in place. An Iraqi legislator visited Israel, and when he came back the Iraqi Parliament tried to strip him of his citizenship, but the Iraqi Supreme Court said, ―Iraqi citizens have the right to travel. You see, institutions, constitutions, documents that establish the relationship between the governed and those who would govern, are not always immediately effective, but they are there and people appeal to them.”