Castro screams at US like a cornered rat

The press has delicately reported that Cuban military dictator, Raúl Castro, thinks President Trump wishes to return to a policy of "confrontation."

Confrontation?  Last time we heard that, Sukarno was using the word as his battle cry for attacks on Malaysia back in '63.  This time, Castro being Castro, he's attempting to blame others with the word because the Castro dynasty has always blamed others.  But given that Castro remembers the word and the era, and, incidentally, hung out with Sukarno, it's likely he means it as a battle cry, too.

The only problem here is that he's screaming like a cornered rat.

According to the BBC:

"Once again, the US government seems to be on the road to confronting Cuba and presenting our peaceful and inclusive country as a threat to the region," Mr Castro, dressed in his military uniform, said in a ceremony held near Fidel's tomb.

"Once again, they want to make Cuba guilty of all the evils of the region."

Mr Castro accused "the far right" in Florida – where many Cuban exiles live – of having "confiscated US policy towards Cuba".

"I reiterate our willingness to coexist in a civilised way despite our differences, in a relationship of peace, respect and mutual benefit with the United States."

Mr Castro said new generations of Cubans had "assumed the mission of constructing socialism", adding that "the revolution hasn't aged".

Does that sound like a military dictator who's all happy about 60 years of his own rule and what it's wrought?

Don't think so.  Obviously, a lot of things are bothering him.

First, his grip on power no longer is secure, at least for him.  A conservative journalism buddy of mine recently returned from Cuba.  What he tells me is that he thinks President Obama's initial opening to the dictatorship, bad as it seemed at first, might just have been a good thing.  He tells me Cubans are now openly stating that communism is a miserable failure, and they'd love to get rid of it.  On my friend's prior trips to Cuba, he said they had all acted as scared to talk to outsiders as North Koreans.  Now the change is pronounced.  What's more, since everyone is doing that, the secret police has its hands tied, since the goons can't arrest everyone.  It is hard as heck to put that genie back into the bottle, what with the fresh air that's drifted in.  That's problem one for Raúl, and if he means to stay in power, he's going to try to, which means putting Cuba on a war footing.  He needs a war, so he's going to try to start one.

Second, President Trump really has talked tough with the dictator, openly stating that military intervention is not off the table in Cuba's colony, Venezuela, something the polite-society anti-Trump Latin elites shuddered in horror at, despite the unfolding humanitarian disaster in that country.  That's never been done, not even by President Bush, and that took guts to do.  Trump also appointed the razor-sharp Mauricio Claver-Carone to run his Latin America policy at the NSC.  That would have to be the top of the "exiles" whom Raúl was complaining about in his diatribe, given that Claver-Carone is Cuban-American and knows how that regime works.  (Memo to Raúl: Mauricio is not from Florida, gotcha.)  What's more, Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, denounced the three hellholes of Latin America led by Cuba as "the three stooges" of socialism.  That term of ridicule works a lot better than Bolton's Bush-era-sounding "troika of tyranny" characterization.  For Raúl, "three stooges" has got to sting.  And both terms highlight something important: that Cuba controls both Venezuela and Nicaragua, physically, given the presence of Cuban operatives running all key ministries in both socialist hellholes, and those countries have become problems as they decay for other countries.  Obviously, someone knows that the only way to fix this is to take Castro's colonies away and end his creepy little empire of failure with this language and these moves.

Third, the region is with Trump.  Brazil just inaugurated a spectacular change agent for its country, President Jair Bolsonaro, whose first words were in his vow to eradicate socialism from the face of his country.  Can you imagine how Raúl Castro might have reacted to that?  He'd see a threat because guess what: it is a threat.  Bolsonaro will likely start with dismantling the Castroite consortium of nations based in Brazil, known as the São Paulo Forum, which will be a big blow to Cuba, which considered that a satellite operation, and then he will move on to find ways to check Venezuela, whose starving refugees are spilling over in their thousands into Brazil.  Ultimately, it's going to have to mean getting rid of the Castros if the Venezuelan problem is ever to be solved, given Cuba's grip.  As Bolsonaro openly recognizes this, note that Raúl can also see that Bolsonaro's got considerable freedom of action, too, given that he sports a 75% approval rating in the polls, something that Raúl, with his murmuring and discontented Cuban public, lacks.  That whole picture has got to scare Raúl something fierce.

One can only conclude that Raúl's bellicose anniversary speech is the raving of a rat who's feeling cornered.  The walls are closing in on Raúl, and 2019 is a dawn for better times for Latin America.  It seems to be a matter of if, not when, all of  Raúl's hellhole regimes fall at this point, and that can only be bad news for him, particularly if Russia's Vladimir Putin is also kicked out.  For Raúl, we can only hope such an end is going to be miserable.  

Image credit: Thierry Ehrmann via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

The press has delicately reported that Cuban military dictator, Raúl Castro, thinks President Trump wishes to return to a policy of "confrontation."

Confrontation?  Last time we heard that, Sukarno was using the word as his battle cry for attacks on Malaysia back in '63.  This time, Castro being Castro, he's attempting to blame others with the word because the Castro dynasty has always blamed others.  But given that Castro remembers the word and the era, and, incidentally, hung out with Sukarno, it's likely he means it as a battle cry, too.

The only problem here is that he's screaming like a cornered rat.

According to the BBC:

"Once again, the US government seems to be on the road to confronting Cuba and presenting our peaceful and inclusive country as a threat to the region," Mr Castro, dressed in his military uniform, said in a ceremony held near Fidel's tomb.

"Once again, they want to make Cuba guilty of all the evils of the region."

Mr Castro accused "the far right" in Florida – where many Cuban exiles live – of having "confiscated US policy towards Cuba".

"I reiterate our willingness to coexist in a civilised way despite our differences, in a relationship of peace, respect and mutual benefit with the United States."

Mr Castro said new generations of Cubans had "assumed the mission of constructing socialism", adding that "the revolution hasn't aged".

Does that sound like a military dictator who's all happy about 60 years of his own rule and what it's wrought?

Don't think so.  Obviously, a lot of things are bothering him.

First, his grip on power no longer is secure, at least for him.  A conservative journalism buddy of mine recently returned from Cuba.  What he tells me is that he thinks President Obama's initial opening to the dictatorship, bad as it seemed at first, might just have been a good thing.  He tells me Cubans are now openly stating that communism is a miserable failure, and they'd love to get rid of it.  On my friend's prior trips to Cuba, he said they had all acted as scared to talk to outsiders as North Koreans.  Now the change is pronounced.  What's more, since everyone is doing that, the secret police has its hands tied, since the goons can't arrest everyone.  It is hard as heck to put that genie back into the bottle, what with the fresh air that's drifted in.  That's problem one for Raúl, and if he means to stay in power, he's going to try to, which means putting Cuba on a war footing.  He needs a war, so he's going to try to start one.

Second, President Trump really has talked tough with the dictator, openly stating that military intervention is not off the table in Cuba's colony, Venezuela, something the polite-society anti-Trump Latin elites shuddered in horror at, despite the unfolding humanitarian disaster in that country.  That's never been done, not even by President Bush, and that took guts to do.  Trump also appointed the razor-sharp Mauricio Claver-Carone to run his Latin America policy at the NSC.  That would have to be the top of the "exiles" whom Raúl was complaining about in his diatribe, given that Claver-Carone is Cuban-American and knows how that regime works.  (Memo to Raúl: Mauricio is not from Florida, gotcha.)  What's more, Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, denounced the three hellholes of Latin America led by Cuba as "the three stooges" of socialism.  That term of ridicule works a lot better than Bolton's Bush-era-sounding "troika of tyranny" characterization.  For Raúl, "three stooges" has got to sting.  And both terms highlight something important: that Cuba controls both Venezuela and Nicaragua, physically, given the presence of Cuban operatives running all key ministries in both socialist hellholes, and those countries have become problems as they decay for other countries.  Obviously, someone knows that the only way to fix this is to take Castro's colonies away and end his creepy little empire of failure with this language and these moves.

Third, the region is with Trump.  Brazil just inaugurated a spectacular change agent for its country, President Jair Bolsonaro, whose first words were in his vow to eradicate socialism from the face of his country.  Can you imagine how Raúl Castro might have reacted to that?  He'd see a threat because guess what: it is a threat.  Bolsonaro will likely start with dismantling the Castroite consortium of nations based in Brazil, known as the São Paulo Forum, which will be a big blow to Cuba, which considered that a satellite operation, and then he will move on to find ways to check Venezuela, whose starving refugees are spilling over in their thousands into Brazil.  Ultimately, it's going to have to mean getting rid of the Castros if the Venezuelan problem is ever to be solved, given Cuba's grip.  As Bolsonaro openly recognizes this, note that Raúl can also see that Bolsonaro's got considerable freedom of action, too, given that he sports a 75% approval rating in the polls, something that Raúl, with his murmuring and discontented Cuban public, lacks.  That whole picture has got to scare Raúl something fierce.

One can only conclude that Raúl's bellicose anniversary speech is the raving of a rat who's feeling cornered.  The walls are closing in on Raúl, and 2019 is a dawn for better times for Latin America.  It seems to be a matter of if, not when, all of  Raúl's hellhole regimes fall at this point, and that can only be bad news for him, particularly if Russia's Vladimir Putin is also kicked out.  For Raúl, we can only hope such an end is going to be miserable.  

Image credit: Thierry Ehrmann via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.