Raul Castro Could Reform Cuba

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Cuba

Many thought that there would be no difference between him and his brother.

Well, if he keeps his promises…boy were “many” wrong.

From Ahram Online:

For the first time since he and his brother came to power more than a half century ago, President Raul Castro proposed term limits for Cuba’s leaders, admitted that errors have left the country with no obvious successor and promised to rejuvenate the island’s political class.

The term-limit proposal made Saturday at the launch of a key Communist Party summit would make it all but impossible for a repeat of the Castros’ own political dynasty, which has dominated Cuba since their 1959 revolution. But it would have little practical impact on Raul’s future.

The 79 year-old leader officially took over from his brother in 2008, meaning he wouldn’t be term-limited out of office until at least 2018, depending on how the law is written.

Castro promised to launch a “systematic rejuvenation” of the government.

Also, looks like Cuba is finally embracing capitalism…

Many economic proposals have been debated for months, after Raúl Castro announced last fall that half a million Cubans would be taken off state payrolls. Many of them will be allowed to establish private enterprises.

Obviously this doesn’t excuse any of the things he has done as the brother of a dictator, but it certainly signals a significant change and that shouldn’t be discounted.

More as it develops…


This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 and is filed under Cuba. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “Raul Castro Could Reform Cuba”

  1. Jane Cooper Says:

    Of course he could reform Cuba but there is thousands of people like him who would like to “reform” Cuba…

  2. Mark Humpa Says:

    So for over 50 years Raul stood by while his brother killed and tortured their own citizens, and now we’re suppose to believe suddenly he’s a changed man? PLEASE! Don’t drink the communist Kool-Aid! They don’t call ‘em dictators for nothing!

  3. kranky kritter Says:

    Or it signals that he’s just another old despot in a failing system who is promising to enact feeble reforms eventually, down the road. As a way of clinging to power for a while longer.

  4. Nick Benjamin Says:

    It’s a bit more then that.

    He’s not enacting these reforms because of US pressure, or massive demonstrations against his rule. To all appearances he could keep the current system going until the day he does if he wanted to. He’s doing it because he thinks it’s a good idea.

    Moreover it’s not clear the Cuban system is “failing.” It’s a free country, and economic growth is totally non-existent, but several of it’s free neighbors are now narco-states dominated by drug lords.

    I’m not saying either Castro’s a wonderful man who should get the Nobel Peace Prize. But Raoul’s closer to a Deng Xiaoping then a Mugabe.

  5. Thomas Says:

    I’m not intimately familiar with the politics of Cuba, but I’m interested in your last statement.

    Are you asserting that Raul Castro did reprehensible things during his brother’s tenure as leader of Cuba? This is entirely possible, even likely. Like I said, I’m not familiar with the history.

    But, are you asserting either that, because he is the brother of a Dictator that he must have done bad things or that simply being the brother of a dictator is, unto itself a bad thing, well, those are assumptions that, while understandable, I can’t quite get behind.

  6. Nick Benjamin Says:

    I’m not an expert myself.

    But Cuba is still considered “not free” by Freedom House. It’s a one-party state that arrests anyone who challenges Communist rule. This stuff isn’t gonna change that.

    But given that Cuba’s Freedom House ratings are identical to Communist China’s, and Raul Castro’s reforms seem a lot like the kind of thing Deng Xiaopeng did in China in the 80s, I think the comparison between the two is apt.

    BTW, if my original statement “it’s [Cuba] a free country” is confusing you that’s because it was total BS. I meant “not a free country.”

  7. David Says:

    The situation in Cuba reminds me of that in Saudi Arabia where the king has made his promises about increasing the standard of living as a result of the wave of revolution that has spread over the region. And the standard of living of the Cubans can’t be compared with that of the Saudi Arabians. The only positive thing about Castro’s departure is that the country and its people will never again have to listen to a 15 hour speech.

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