Is Cuba a Personalized Dictatorship?

Sunday, July 19, 2009
In centralized, personalized dictatorships, getting rid of the dictator is usually enough to destroy the regime's foundations. Such has been the case in Francisco Franco's Spain, Antonio de Oliveira Salazar's Portugal and Rafael Trujillo's Dominican Republic.

Fidel Castro's Cuba definitely fits into the mold of a centralized, personalized dictatorship.

Therefore, will Fidel's death destroy the Cuban regime's foundations?

Here's an excerpt from Ken LaRive's "Castro Died a Long Time Ago" in the Examiner, which makes a passionate argument in favor of this thesis:

Those who will fill the vacuum that Castro left are a rag-tag group who have been waiting in the sidelines for their chance. They have had the same primary goal for decades: to keep the machine going no matter what the cost, and Cubans have paid dearly. Fidel’s aspiration to use the regime to restructure the world for his particular philosophical thought fell short long ago. Cuba has been in a vacuum for decades, where minions twiddle their cigar smelling thumbs, and grow fat by the oppression of their own kind.

The new functionaries can not claim the dreams of Fidel as their own, no matter how ambitious, or the political correctness they may use as smoke. No more similar is Josef Stalin to Leonid Brezhnev. Stalin was a visionary, though it is evident his ideology went against human nature, and as the thought disintegrated in a world where totalitarian rule was eaten by free world radio and television, Brezhnev became a functionary to survive. Under the Brezhnev umbrella the dreams of Stalin were served up cold, and so Brezhnev could do nothing more than serve up the regime in like kind. This Communist Cuba is a dying ember, and will go the same way. The walls that kept the masses from leaving will fall.

Sure, our President Reagan played a part of the last days of the Soviet Union. The old songs and slogans were played to lifeless crowds, where the ideals of Lenin and Stalin once reverberated goose bumps. In the end no one, not even Brezhnev, believed a word. The regime disintegrated from the inside out, as the true weakness unfolded one layer after another, like an onion. People can not be subjugated.

Likewise, the dreams of Fidel fell with the slow-sinking Soviet, as Fidel seemed never to give up hope that his original vision could still ignite, and his once strong words fell on deaf ears like a broken record.

To the very end Castro promoted the idea that it was the American embargo and the strangled relations of an imperialist American Economics that burned the life out of Cuba. He was very persuasive early on, but little to no one believes that today. Anyone could trade with Cuba, Latin America, Europe, Canada, whomever, and Cuba wasn’t even completely locked out of North America, as third parties collected their commissions. No, it was Fidel’s dreams that subdued Cuba, and his heavy hand that could not rationalize economics and free trade. Hitler and Saddam had their believers too, and the earth shook with their terrible dreams, but who will listen to Raul and his nuevo-league of bean-counters and functionaries? It has come to pass that men can no longer be held in check by instruments of power, not for long, as is the story of other Communist Regimes that have collapsed.

Even their own hot air could not keep them aloft.