Rafael Trujillo Molina
Lula da Silva
the Duvaliers (Papa and Baby Doc)
Jose Figueres Ferrer
2. What do you think about, or how do you relate to Afro-Cubans and their traditions?
3. Do you think that Cuba should walk its own path rather than to stick with everything that the United States says?
4. Do you think that Cuba can achieve social change for its most impoverished without Communism?
Note: even though I may have started this community (a while back), I'm not necessarily pro-Castro (nor anti-, for that matter). Rather, I started this community simply because, well, there just wasn't a Castro discussion community here.
My stance: while I'm sure Castro isn't as egalitarian as he may sound these days (in fact, I think Chavez in caracas has done a better job within that arena), he *was* one of the few leaders in Latin America who had the balls to consistently voice their stalwart (although not necessarily progressive) opposition against U.S. policy towards the region. Back in the day, sure, he established a system that was beneficiary to those who had nothing under Batista (and he provided an example to other peoples who were in a similar state under the ancien regimes of that era). But now....well, while we still have Big Baby Bush to worry about, Castro has not shown enough flexibility to necessary change, which shows in the growing stagnation of the Cuban government (despite what even *he* may say).
Cuba, in a way, has become alot like a military fortress in Vietnam (I think that was featured in Apocalypse Now): Cuba may have established a system of defense against the U.S. forays into the region, but the war over the domination of this same area is now being won (gradually) by the New Left of the likes of Hugo Chavez and Lula da Silva. Thus, the catch lies in this: Cuba isn't moving forward along with the rest of Latin America, as if its caught in a time warp of the likes of the Soviet Bloc prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
This is why I fear for the Cuban people. If Castro is to stay in power, then, to the benefit of the people of Cuba, he has to make some desperate changes in order for his country to emerge into the world market and to keep Cuba from going downhill (socially speaking). If Castro and the CPC is to lose power (thus satisfying Miami and Washington), then, for the Cuban people and the disenfranchised among them who may result out of such a possibly-turbulent shift in the governance of the country, let the changes be gradual.
Otherwise, I'm certain, Cuba will turn into an American Belarus.