Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Rice on Cuba (updated)

In remarks to reporters yesterday, Secretary of State Rice toughened up the rhetoric on Cuba, saying that “we’re not going to tolerate the transfer of power from one dictator to another.”

She did not say what “not tolerate” means. Her full remarks are here.

A transfer of the presidency from Fidel Castro to Raul Castro, like it or not, would follow the succession mechanism in Cuba’s constitution. With Fidel Castro out of office now for nearly one year, it seems that a de facto succession has already been accomplished.

The Administration has not been effective in matching ends and means in its Cuba policy, and it is doubtful it would take the action required to prevent Raul Castro from fully assuming the presidency once Fidel Castro goes.

In his most recent remarks on Cuba, President Bush indicated that when Fidel Castro passes from the scene, the United States will orchestrate international calls for a change of political system in Cuba. Those remarks did not play well in Miami, it seems Rice is responding.

In Cuba, it’s a safe bet that Rice’s remarks make the senior leadership circle the wagons even more, increasing cohesion among senior officials and suppressing the emergence of any differences that might eventually lead to change.

Some toughness.


leftside said...

I found it interesting these remarks about Cuba came in response to a question from a Chilean about Chile. Rice made clear that she intends to have "friendly" countries in the region play a up-front role in any confrontation with Cuba. That is, the US is clearly behind it all, but it intends to put the full court press on its allies if they want to remain in the good graces. It was also interesting how Rice made a point to detach Argentina from the "good left" in Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. She said the growth in "other areas" of the region was due to free market policies, which is totally contrary to a reality where Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba are leading the way economically. Also neo-liberalism is blamed for 20 years of sluggish growth, compared to the more interventionist 60s and 70s. Failure to acknowledge this is why the US dictates ring hollow... despite Rice's oft-repeasted platitudes about "social justice" in her speach. Action is louder than words - and Cuba & Venezuela are acting.

Anonymous said...

"Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba are leading the way economically"


leftside said...

Anon, apparently you are quite ignorant of the economic results of the last 3 years to be laughing so hard. Laugh at these 4th quarter 2006 figures for GDP growth provided by the US Federal Reserve:

Venezuela - 9.7
Cuba - 8.7
Argentina - 8.4

leftside said...

Meanwhile State Dept spokeman tom Casey shows his (department's?)ignorance of Cuba in calling the upcoming elections "single-party elections that don't allow the people a choice." Sounds more like Los Angeles than Cuba where the party plays no role in elections and the people themselves nominate potential candidates. In LA the Dem chieftens ordain a candidate, clear the field from potential competition and hope for a turnout above 20%. Cuba gets upwards of 80-90% I believe. Certainly not a perfect system, but Casey's description is off the mark.

Mambi_Watch said...

I also wanted to add that today the local TV news here in Miami got a response from Caleb McCarry (Cuba Transition Coordinator) about Condi's remarks.

He clarified that Condi's comments did not suggest a military attack from the US. (Phew! I was worried there for a second.)

He supported the rest of Condi's comments without any further clarification.

I also noticed that McCarry was at Casa Bacardi over at the University of Miami when he made his comments. Is he always there? Is ICCAS part of the Cuban "transition"?

Most likely yes.