Rediscovering Cuba--Running like Hell to Cover the Tracks of 50 Years of Failed and Useless Policy
Our Failed, Punitive Policy
By Anya Landau French
Wednesday, February 20, 2008; A17
Fidel Castro's leaving office on his own terms is not the kind of change that successive American presidents have envisioned for Cuba. In fact, it's a sign that U.S. efforts to isolate that country and bring down its socialist government have failed.
Today Venezuela, China, Canada, Spain and Brazil all have a robust presence on the island. Venezuela continues to trade cut-rate oil for Cuban doctors. Canada, Spain and China have made major investments in Cuba over the past decade in tourism, nickel and energy. These relationships helped enable Cuba to achieve 7 percent economic growth last year (a CIA estimate) in spite of U.S. efforts to limit hard-currency flows to the island.
As interim leader, Fidel's brother Raúl has spotlighted longstanding economic problems, criticized the government's performance and raised expectations of policy changes that will improve conditions for the average Cuban.