It is strange how
socialist republics turn into hereditary monarchies.
No doubt the
spontaneous choice of the proletariat just happens to coincide with close blood
relationship to the previous leader.
So it is no surprise
that Cuba’s Assembly of People’s Power – honestly, they really do call
themselves that – could find no better successor to Castro than the dying
dictator’s 76-year old kid bother, Raul.
Even the Great
Survivor has had to accept that he cannot beat death. One wonders if the tiny
part of him that is not brainwashed by his own bombast also realises his system
will die with him. Handing power to his brother while he still can is his last
attempt to prolong his authority.
It will not work. Like
Eastern Europe, Cuba will be freed by economics, not revolution.
Cuba was once
America’s playground and will be again. Indeed, the business opportunities are
greater than ever – too great to resist.
The people in the best
position to exploit those opportunities are the current leaders. This has no
doubt already occurred to the brightest of them. They will have seen how party
bureaucrats became oligarchs in Russia and the managers of state businesses in
Eastern Europe became their owners when they were privatised.
They may also be
looking at the Chinese model, which combines the economic strength of the free
market with continued political control by the Communist Party.
The entrepreneurs who can
befriend these bright bureaucrats will be the first into Cuba – and could
become very wealthy indeed.