Thursday, December 27, 2007

Preparing for a Cuba without Castro

Preparing for a Cuba without Castro

Cubans are accustomed to being informed of their leader Fidel Castro's
thoughts in the form of long-winded speeches or rambling articles. But a
letter from Castro read out on Cuban state television recently contained
something they had never heard. Toward the end of his missive, Mr.
Castro told his audience that he had a duty not to "cling to office" or
obstruct the rise of "younger people". ...

Mr. Castro did not indicate when he might step down. But this letter is
clearly part of an attempt to prepare Cubans for a transition of power.
Elections are due to be held next month to choose the national assembly,
which will then select the president of the Cuban council of state. It
seems that, for the first time, someone other than the ailing Mr. Castro
could be chosen. ...

There can be little doubt that Cuba needs to look to a younger
generation for leadership. ... Cuba's new leader will need to open up
the economy and bring the country back in from the cold internationally.

...Mr. Castro has defied the odds over almost five decades of
uninterrupted rule. But he has finally run out of time. It is time for
the curtain of history to descend on the extraordinary Castro era.

-- The Independent, London

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