BBC: US President George W Bush has approved an $80m (£43m) fund towards boosting democracy in Cuba.
The article notes that not only is this government waiting for Castro to die, they're actively working with local organizations to promote change within the country.
Personally, I think the best thing that ever happened to Castro's regime is the embargo. In trying to starve the Communist regime to death, we've only given them a bigger point to prove. As some readers of this blog will attest, some people would rather let the world fall apart around them than submit to reason. For the U.S. to begin funnelling money into Cuba nowthough makes as a wager that the country is going to embrace democracy as soon as the old man croaks is a crap shoot.
While countless Cubans have had to flea their homeland, many more have decided to stay. Why is that? Why hasn't there been a revolt in Cuba to overthrow Fidel? As much as many of us here in the States hate him, many people, including Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Harry Belafonte think Fidel is the best thing ever. My point is, the Cubans don't hate Fidel as much as we would want them to. They've had more than enough time to overhtrow that wacko, but he's remained esconsed in power because his people adore him. Think back to Elian, people.
Growing up in a Colombian/Puerto Rican household, I would hear my very outspoken Colombian relatives chide and praise the Cuban people for sticking together in this country and making something of themselves. In short, the stereotype goes, the Cubans don't bullshit. My point here is that this intrepid and industrious people would very well have gotten rid of Castro if that's what they really wanted.
Not to offend my Cuban people in Miami, but the Castro is a pig rhetoric is old and is being preached to the choir. Sidebar: These Cuban Republicans really annoy me, though I loved how people like Senator Mel Martinez had to swallow their "do it for yourself" politics when the immigration debacle took center stage. Their thinking is that they left Cuba with nothing and came to this country to make themselves somebodies, without the help of the government. Fair enough, but one might argue that assylum (something we're not handing out to the Haitians, for instance, is a huge help).
But I digress.
I say we lift the embargo, let the Cubans enjoy the spoils of commercialism and use that $80 million to help U.S. organizations that are helping our kids read, write, add and subtract better so that they can compete with their Cuban counterparts. They've got doctors for days and the highest literacy rate in Latin America. Azucar!