[Marxism] From 'interests section, ' US diplomat pledges fall of Castro regime

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sat Dec 11 05:53:26 MST 2004

It looks like re-election is fueling an atmosphere of triumphalism,
comparable to the wave that followed the initial victory in Iraq. It
will be interesting to see if the upcoming military exercises in Cuba
have any impact on this. Of course, the frenzy against Cuba helps keep
the right-wing base more solidly behind the war in Iraq. 
Fred Feldman

Published Friday, December 10, 2004
US diplomat predicts end nearing for Castro and his government

Associated Press Writer

HAVANA The top American diplomat in Cuba declared Friday the end is near
for Fidel Castro and his government, saying even Castro's supporters are
preparing for a change for democracy.

Overseeing a group of dissidents filling a time capsule with written
messages spelling out their dreams for a different kind of Cuba, U.S.
Interests Section Chief James Cason said Castro's government "is on its
last legs."

"I don't think Castro will be around another 60 years, whatever his
doctor says," Cason said of the 78-year-old leader who will mark 46
years in power on New Year's Day.

"Even regime supporters are discreetly preparing for the inevitable
democratic transition" on the communist-run island, the American
official said.

Cuba's communist leaders insist that the island's current political
system will retain power long after Castro dies, and that there will be
no such transition.

Castro's designated successor is his younger brother, 73-year-old
Defense Minister Raul Castro, who is also No. 2 in Cuba's ruling
Communist Party.

There was no immediate reaction from Castro's government, which
traditionally takes several days to respond publicly to statements by
American officials. Castro in the past has accused Cason of being "a
bully with diplomatic immunity" charged by Washington with trying to
provoke the island government.

The United States and Cuba have not had diplomatic relations in more
than four decades. In lieu of embassies, both operate "interests
sections" in each others' country to provide consular services and
provide limited official contact between the two nations.

The time capsule ceremony in the back yard of Cason's official residence
coincided with International Human Rights Day.

"This is a message that brings hope to the people of this nation," Elsa
Morejon, wife of imprisoned dissident Dr. Oscar Biscet, said as she put
her written dreams in the time capsule. Biscet was among 75 people
jailed in a crackdown on dissent in March 2003 and sentenced to long
prison terms.

Morejon was one of about a dozen dissidents assembled for the evening
ceremony at Cason's home.

"Would God grant that our children and the Cuban people do not inherit
our hates and miseries, but rather our faith so that they can construct
their own history," said Oswaldo Paya, leader of a pro-democracy
petition drive known as the Varela Project.

Also included in the small black box later buried and marked with a
stone were numerous documents, including a copy of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, several non-governmental magazines
published on the island, and a speech by U.S. President George W. Bush
about Cuba.

Bush has steadily tightened the trade and travel restrictions on Cuba
during his first four years in office.

Earlier this year, the Bush administration issued new rules based on
recommendations by the president's U.S. Commission for Assistance to a
Free Cuba, which outlined the role the United States could play in a
transitional, post-Castro Cuba.

Cuban officials have angrily rejected the commission's recommendations,
saying they are are thinly veiled blueprint for toppling the government
with force, a charge that American officials deny.

More information about the Marxism mailing list