Fidel Castro: Obama's Honesty Not Doubted
Fidel got back to writing today, and said some things about Obama directly. This after news reports of him watching the Inaguration all day and meeting with Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez.
I said that I personally do not doubt the honesty of Obama... as he expresses his ideas, but that his noble intentions notwithstanding there are still many questions to be answered. By way of an example I wondered: How could a wasteful and consumerist system par excellence preserve the environment?
Some have been remarking about the apparently different early Obama signals coming from Cuba and Venuzeula. This is partially the result of recent Obama insults of Chavez but it is also very likely part of an astute strategy. Cuba wants to end the embargo and normalize relations, while Venezuela is able to play bad cop, keeping the pressure on Obama to fundamentally change the US posture in the region.
There have been some interesting noises out of Washington lately and Cuba appears to be reciprocating. Raul called Obama "a good man" and said "I wish him luck." I hope we can continue to see these indications of confidence building. But real progress will only happen when the US makes clear its policy of regime change is over. That means no more money for subversion, no TV/Radio Marti, an end to the selective Cuban migration policy, etc. I see Raul continuing to make administrative economic reforms, which will buttress Obama's piecemeal dismantling of the most idiotic aspects of US-Cuba policy. First a repeal of Bush's stupid travel and remittance regulations, then going back to Clinton's people-to-people nonsense, then perhaps some real progress after that. If I could advise Obama I would stress the importance of behind the scenes dialogue to avoid any appearance of pressure.