I think it's a good time for a long hiatus. It seems everybody's in a wait-and-see mood with respect to Cuba. With Raul Castro now officially President, and the Director of US National Intelligence saying that the "political situation probably will remain stable during at least the initial months now that Fidel Castro has handed off power to his brother Raul" [PDF of recent Annual Threat Assessment], now would be a good time for a break.
I personally don't see big changes happening inside Cuba for MANY months to come. The Luis Posada case may get interesting, but I don't see it having a big impact in US/Cuba relations. And, hard-liners in Miami seem more radical than ever, but facing more challenges than ever.
Now, with the Ecuador/Colombia diplomatic conflict growing, but not leading to military violence, hard-liners have shown how isolated and dangerous their thinking is: they support militarism as a just solution to the vast problems they see in South America. According to Armando Perez-Roura (program director of Radio Mambi), "the medicine is armed conflict" (Mar. 4, 2008 - La Noticia y Usted). And, callers to Radio Mambi were virtually unanimous in support because if armed conflict did break out they had "the opportunity" to rid themselves of enemies like Hugo Chavez (President of Venezuela) or Rafael Correa (President of Ecuador). Yeesh!
Inside Cuba, despite the signing of some human rights agreements (with reservations which is usual for many countries, even the US), there's already stories of dissident arrests and unfair trials by the Cuban government. Check the Uncommon Sense Blog.
But, we may see slight changes ahead. So, I will take a back seat.
Honestly, I've been wanting to end this blog since late last year, with the desire to concentrate fully on other interests, but sometimes the blog just draws me in easily. But, now the time is right. So I will be posting about two final matters this week, and then taking a year-long hiatus, after which I may return to review the developments and predictions made by some.
This week's final posts will be about what I think the hard-line strategy will be as we draw closer to the end of the US embargo, and my own thoughts about what I envision to be a good solution to quelling the US/Cuba conflict. These future posts have already been researched, so they are just waiting to be posted, as much as I am anxious to take a break.
I want to say that the support I have received by some readers has been incredibly kind, and much appreciated. This blog served many purposes, and was a growing experience for me throughout. I hope that one lesson that can be drawn from this blog is the idea that regular people in the US can make the effort to understand very complex international issues, avoid those that wish to reduce (or force) its complexity to something conveniently simple, and be able to become an informed citizen capable of independently taking a political position, and even changing position if so necessary.
In essence, to be free.