Fidel Castro has finally turned in his resignation as president of Cuba. His decision to step down on Tuesday has brought mixed opinions from all over the world. President Bush is speaking out and voicing his concern that post-Fidel rule should be one of a democratic nature. Our fellow allies, France and Spain, are echoing Bush’s call to democracy. If this is Cuba’s first real change in almost 50 years, can a democracy immediately work? The leader of Russia’s Communist Party is actually commending Castro’s decision today stating, ” “It’s a brave decision and in taking it, I’m sure Fidel Castro was guided by the interests of his country and his people.”
The 81-year-old leader made his resignation official in a letter to the Web site of the Communist Party’s newspaper. He expressed confidence that the country would be in good hands with a government composed of elements of “the old guard” and “others who were very young when the first stage of the revolution began.”The announcement puts Raul Castro in position to succeed as the Cuban head of state when the National Assembly meets on Sunday. There has been speculation for some time now that Fidel’s brother would be less of an enforcer and is the basis of hope for reform in Cuba if he were to take over the presidency.
Time magazine reported on Fidel’s slighty younger brother back in 2006:
Raul is also called “the practical Castro,” and when and if he does succeed Fidel permanently, many Cuba watchers speculate that he’ll actually bring a less confrontational, more reform-minded rule to the communist island. “I think he will try to adopt more of a China economic model, probably continuing much of the harsh political regime but allowing more private enterprise and loosening foreign investment rules,” says Latell, a senior researcher at the University of Miami’s Cuba Institute and author of the recently published book After Fidel. “And I think he’s also going to want better relations and more dialogue with the U.S.”
We could only hope.
President Bush is calling for the international community to help Cuba move toward democracy. The UK’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown is backing Bush’s message.
I hope Cuba can change, for the people’s sake. As for Fidel, I say good riddance.