Thursday, August 13, 2009

Raul Castro: Cuba is used to "walking on the edge of a sword"

Raul Castro in Holguín on July 26

The debate over whether to lift the U.S. ban on trade with Cuba got me thinking about the future of the socialist government.
I've always thought that Cuban hardliners and their counterparts in Miami and Washington are both worst enemies and best friends. To a certain extent, they depend on each other for their own survival.
Indeed, some people contend that some Cuban officials don't want to see the embargo lifted because then they'll have no excuses, they'll have to do something about Cuba's troubles, including its battered economy.
One Cuban I met with in Havana said he's convinced that some Cuban officials prefer the Cold War status quo to the uncertainty of change.
But another Cuban, an expert on U.S.-Cuba relations, denied that Cuban officials want economic sanctions to continue. He said:
We work every day to end the blockade.
Even so, he said, Cuban officials aren't in a great hurry to see change. That statement surprised me a bit. And then I noticed similar sentiment in Raul Castro's Aug. 1 speech. The Cuban president said:
The same way we have insisted on our disposition to settle our differences with the United States, I clearly say that we are facing the issue with absolute calm and no haste. For 50 years now we have been walking on the edge of a sword, so we are well trained in that, and we are capable of resisting 50 more years of aggressions and blockade.
Link:
Along the Malecon's Raul Castro, military and domestic affairs page

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