Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm Back!

Well, let's get the ball rolling again.

Honestly, I don't know if I will be able to post as often as I would like, but I feel the need to write about certain events that have occurred recently concerning US-Cuba relations, and would finally like to get those thoughts out. In which case, this blog can again serve some purpose. (I'm telling you, it just pulls you back in.)

It's been about 5 months since I last posted, so let's quickly review some missed events.

Last March I highlighted some prognostications made by two Cuba experts, Phil Peters (from the Lexington Institute) and Andy Gomez (from the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies), basically believing that Cuban President Raul Castro would soon make some economic changes.

Peters believed that the Cuban government had given some indication for reforms, and thought that those reforms would come "within a year." And, Raul Castro made those changes a lot faster than anticipated. Peters made these comments while interviewed on the Spanish-language show Maria Elvira Live last September (watch the interview on YouTube, courtesy of Harmonious Howl). Maria Elvira was skeptical of Raul Castro making any economic reforms, but publicly invited Phil Peters to come back a year later if those changes had occurred.

Maria Elvira, its time to schedule Peters back on the show for next month.

Andy Gomez from ICCAS made similar comments in a PBS interview more than a year ago, giving Raul Castro six months to a year to make "minimal economic reforms." Gomez stated in the interview that he feared a "large migration out of Cuba" if Raul didn't make those changes. Gomez happened to be partially right. Raul Castro made minimal reforms, but there is still a large number of Cuban immigrants coming to the US illegally. But, not at the dire level Gomez was fearing.

Furthermore, there are no signs of a significant internal instability in Cuba (a scenario the US Defense Intelligence Agency was keeping its eye on for "six or seven months" starting last February). Especially, one that would immediately threaten the power of the Cuban government. And, despite the public denouncements of continued repression against the internal Cuban opposition (which should be a great cause of concern to defenders of human rights), a general state of stability, nevertheless, remains around the island.

In the following posts I will return to some past moments (such as the Chris Simmons controversy), especially since I believe more commentary and facts went ignored, but I'm also happy to again contribute to the diversity of opinions being made in the blogosphere concerning the case of US-Cuba relations.

Thanks to all who have linked to this blog. I am humbled and honored.