Monday, February 25, 2008

The Raul Castro Government

Today is Raul Castro's first day in office as President of Cuba, and he has the old guard by his side.

Phil Peters at the Cuban Triangle Blog provides his thoughts on what he sees for the future of Cuba under Raul Castro. It's a cautious and positive outlook. But, over here at Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies the outlook is bleak, and worrisome (thanks to Senior Fellow Andy Gomez).

Anyway, Raul Castro does have several problems to tackle, and, in my opinion, the younger generation of Cubans will lead the way in holding Raul Castro accountable for their various grievances. Today, Anthony Boadle (Reuters) gives us a taste of what's to come:

"Young people are tired of poor salaries and food shortages, and feel constrained by a system that offers few opportunities to own nice homes, cars and other consumer goods. Some saw [Carlos] Lage as a leader who might help modernize Cuba."

Boadle quotes a 20-year old sociology student saying: "It should have been Carlos Lage. He has many good ideas. We should be rejuvenating."

Speaking of young Cubans, we all know of Yoani Sánchez and her blog: Generation Y (make sure you visit). There's a video interview with her here. She says she wants a freely elected leader to be President of Cuba, preferably not from the military "so we don't have to act like soldiers in front of him." She's just one example of a new generation in Cuba. She told Reuters:

"We're a mixture of pragmatism, disbelief and cynicism that is not a good combination to believe in any ideology."

[H/T to the Abajo Fidel Blog where I found the Yoani video. By the way, Abajo Fidel may be changing its name to Abajo Raul Castro. Tough choice I'm sure.]

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