Castro Resigns

Still not dead though.

Fidel Castro resigned as president and commander-in-chief of Cuba, after almost 50 years as the country’s leader, the official daily Granma said.

“I neither will aspire to nor will I accept, the position of president of the council of state and commander-in-chief,” Castro wrote, according to Granma in its online edition. “My only desire is to fight as a soldier for my ideas.”

Anyone who thinks Castro won’t remain in control is kidding themselves. Perhaps though, some good will come of it and the Cuban people might be spared his four hour speeches.






63 replies
  1. 1
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    The history behind Cuba and the rise of Castro is complex, and I do not agree with him in any way that I am aware of, but I do have to admire the fact that he stuck it to the US for 49 years. With the way we like to go around and rearrange the world, the fact that he was able to stay that long is pretty interesting.

    Not only that, but he suckered us with the boat lift, dumping his mental and criminal cases on us. Bet it made things more peaceful on his little island. It sure made a mess out of things here though.

    While Fidel will never be considered a good leader, we have to remember that it was some stupid, shortsighted policies on our part that fed the fire and his rise. Castro was little more than a pawn that Russia liked to poke us with once in a while.

    I hope that Cuba opens up, but I think a lot of people are going to demand too much for things to open right up. I hope not, but some people have a long memory and property they would like to reclaim. That is going to be one big stumbling block, IMO.

  2. 2
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    New Orleans, Katrina. Cuba, Ivan.

    Hate him all you want, but in some ways Castro’s Cuba is a far more humane place than Bush’s America.

  3. 3
    Wilfred says:

    some people have a long memory and property they would like to reclaim. That is going to be one big stumbling block, IMO.

    That’s no problem – just treat them like Palestinians.

    Fifty some odd years of relentless propaganda has made any critical thinking about Cuba impossible for most Americans.

  4. 4
    Rarely Posts says:

    It sure made a mess out of things here though.

    Not that I’ve noticed.

  5. 5
    JGabriel says:

    Michael D.: “Anyone who thinks Castro won’t remain in control is kidding themselves.”

    The guy’s almost 82 years old and in poor health. Probably going senile too. By all accounts, his brother is already in control.

    Whatever that means. I’m sure anyone really knows yet, including the brother.

    .

  6. 6
    Peter Johnson says:

    Qaddaffi gives up his weapons, Castro steps down, all after the invasion of Iraq. This shows that the Bush doctrine was right after all, despite what the liberal naysayers bray.

  7. 7
    kuvasz says:

    A dollar to a donut, that when Conservative pundits decry Fidel’s own gulag they overlook that similar things are going on today in the USA’s Communist major trading partner, China.

    The US oligarchy would be damned in Hell before they would let any true socialist state to exist 90 miles from their own border. The reason being that it might cause Americans to question why they couldn’t get further enfranchisment.

    What surprizes me is the ignorance of those on the Right who point to Fidel’s jailing of dissenters who seem to have forgotten that a well financed program of state sponsored terrorism was carried out by the US intelligence community in Cuba to wreck bridges, sugar refinery plants and other aspects of Cuban infrastructure, as well as attempts to assassinate Fidel on a regular basis.

    Using the template of George Bush’s War On Terror, Fidel did much the same in response to the threat directed his way by the Americans.

    It is kith and kin to the double standard that if America sponsors state supported terrorism, it is justified, because it is just defending itself, but if others do it, they become the spawn of Satan.

  8. 8
    jake says:

    Chimpy McFlightsuit will don his jet fighter drag and claim his policies caused time to pass, thereby making Castro old, thereby causing him to retire. Mission Accomplished!

    It will be a nice distraction from the spanking his democracy loving pal in Pakistan just received.

  9. 9

    Causation, correlation, same thing.

  10. 10
    JGabriel says:

    PEter Johnson: “Qaddaffi gives up his weapons, Castro steps down, all after the invasion of Iraq.”

    Good. Can we leave now?

    (P.S. I think Quaddafi gave up his weapons under Clinton.)

    .

  11. 11
    jake says:

    Peter Hugh Johnson: Lame troll or lamest troll?

  12. 12
    4tehlulz says:

    Qaddaffi gives up his weapons, Castro steps down, all after the invasion of Iraq. This shows that the Bush doctrine was right after all, despite what the liberal naysayers bray.

    Clinton negotiated with Qaddafi, which I’m sure you supported (LOL) and Castro just got old.

    Weak. 0/10

  13. 13
    cleek says:

    Qaddaffi gives up his weapons, Castro steps down, all after the invasion of Iraq.

    i think it’s all due to the Van Halen reunion. seeing the withered husks of David and Eddie together again must’ve made ol’ Fidel’s heart grow two sizes.

  14. 14
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    Clinton negotiated with Qaddafi, which I’m sure you supported (LOL) and Castro just got old.

    That is to say, the old bastard outlived the Americans who wanted him dead the most.

    Now there’s irony.

  15. 15
    tofubo says:

    i know digby rocks, and when she’s rollin’, it’s like she’s cookin’, but http://www.freecookingrecipes.net/ for the blogroll ?? isn’t that a little kitcheney ??

  16. 16
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    That Bush Doctrine is some hot stuff all right. I wonder why none of the Republican candidates ever mentioned it. In fact, I wonder why they all scrambled for the mantle of Ronald Reagan rather than Bush. The only time they mentioned his name is in the context of “the Bush tax cuts.”

  17. 17
    Punchy says:

    I’d love to be in the middle of Little Havana in Miami this morning. I bet they’re already three sheets…

  18. 18
    L Boom says:

    i think it’s all due to the Van Halen reunion. seeing the withered husks of David and Eddie together again must’ve made ol’ Fidel’s heart grow two sizes

    Agreed, although it’s also possible that the sight of Diamond Dave wearing leather pants at age 78 (yes, I know) made Castro so profoundly aware of his own old age he had no choice but to step down.

  19. 19
    Shygetz says:

    Qaddaffi gives up his weapons, Castro steps down, all after the invasion of Iraq. This shows that the Bush doctrine was right after all, despite what the liberal naysayers bray.

    Then why didn’t we just decide to wait for Saddam to get old and die? It worked for Cuba, right?

  20. 20
    JGabriel says:

    Tofubo has a point. The Digby link in the blogroll actually does point to freecookingrecipes.net.

    You guys might want to fix that.

  21. 21
    ET says:

    Sure he will still be there like the proverbial black cloud, but Dubya going on about a transition to democracy for Cuba and “realize the blessings of liberty” just makes me want to yak.

    Still it does seem like a big deal.

  22. 22
    TheFountainHead says:

    I’d love to be in the middle of Little Havana in Miami this morning. I bet they’re already three sheets…

    That was absolutely my first thought as well. Screw the global political ramifications and all the rest, lets go get krunked with the Miami Cubans!!

  23. 23
    4tehlulz says:

    Dubya going on about a transition to democracy for Cuba and “realize the blessings of liberty”

    Given Bush’s track record, Cuba will be a Shi’a theocracy by the end of the year.

  24. 24
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    How long will it take the GOP to transmute Castro’s resignation into “another win for Republican foreign policy”?

  25. 25
    Neal says:

    As much as I hate to give Bush credit for anything, Libya decided to abandon its weapons program in 2003. Clinton put some sanctions in place 10 years earlier, but it was the Iraq debacle that scared Gaddafi shitless.

    From Wikipedia:

    In 1991, two Libyan intelligence agents were indicted by federal prosecutors in the U.S. and Scotland for their involvement in the December 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103. Six other Libyans were put on trial in absentia for the 1989 bombing of UTA Flight 772. The UN Security Council demanded that Libya surrender the suspects, cooperate with the Pan Am 103 and UTA 772 investigations, pay compensation to the victims’ families, and cease all support for terrorism. Libya’s refusal to comply led to the approval of UNSC Resolution 748 on March 31, 1992, imposing sanctions on the state designed to bring about Libyan compliance. Continued Libyan defiance led to further sanctions by the UN against Libya in November 1993.

    In 2003, more than a decade after the sanctions were put in place, Libya began to make dramatic policy changes in regard to the Western world with the open intention of pursuing a Western-Libyan détente. The Libyan government announced its decision to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs and pay almost 3 billion US dollars in compensation to the families of Pan Am flight 103 as well as UTA Flight 772. The decision was welcomed by many western nations and was seen as an important step for Libya toward rejoining the international community. Since 2003 the country has made efforts to normalize its ties with the European Union and the United States and has even coined the catchphrase, ‘The Libya Model’, an example intended to show the world what can be achieved through negotiation rather than force when there is goodwill on both sides.

    On May 15, 2006 the United States Department announced it would fully restore diplomatic relations with Libya if it dismantled its weapons programs. Also the State Department removed Libya from their state sponsored terrorism list which it had been on for 27 years.

    On October 16, 2007 Libya was voted to serve on the United Nations Security Council for two years starting January 2008.

  26. 26

    More like, US invaded the Bay of Pigs, US lost in Vietnam, US killed Lumumba, US invaded the Dominican Republic, did something in Haiti, US attacked Grenada, US backed Suharto coup, US backed contras, US secretly backed both Iraq and Iran in their wars, US invaded Panama and captured their head of state, US aided Colombia against rebels, US aided Mexico against rebels, US invaded Iraq, US gets Libya to stop its nuclear program… and after fifty years of this Castro retires.

    I see a pattern.

  27. 27
    Zifnab says:

    How long will it take the GOP to transmute Castro’s resignation into “another win for Republican foreign policy”?

    Are you kidding? Cuba has been a periodic “success” in the Republican Party Platform on and off since Reagen. Every now and then we get to hear about how tweaking the embargo system has totally changed the US-Cuba dynamic. And they get to pimp out their “success” to the largely ignorant conservative block of Cuban Floridian voters.

    This’ll just be another indication of the brilliantly masterminded Embargo strategy formulated 50 years ago. Castro never saw “old age” coming.

  28. 28
    demimondian says:

    I see a pattern.

    Yeah. It explains why Putin is having such trouble arranging a putsch against Kosovo and in Georgia, doesn’t it?

    (OK, OK, a stretch. But I’m still getting going, and I can’t find a better “the other guys did it first!” trope.)

  29. 29
    Raenelle says:

    Another CIA success story. We finally see the results of their slow-acting poison.

  30. 30
    Con Mhac says:

    Qaddaffi gives up his weapons, Castro steps down, all after the invasion of Iraq. This shows that the Bush doctrine was right after all, despite what the liberal naysayers bray.

    The question is, where does using an assassin as diabolical as Old Man Time fall under the Geneva Conventions?

  31. 31
    liberal says:

    Neal wrote,

    Clinton put some sanctions in place 10 years earlier, but it was the Iraq debacle that scared Gaddafi shitless.

    I don’t see anything in what you cite from Wikipedia that supports this; you appear to be committing the post hoc fallacy.

    From what I’ve read, Gaddafi’s change was brought about by (1) the stuff started under Clinton, (2) 9-11, because al Qaeda was out to get him, too, so warming his relations with the west made good geopolitics.

    Of course, neocon nutjobs won’t understand (2), because they assume the world is divide (a la Manichaeism) into only two camps, good and evil.

  32. 32
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Another CIA success story. We finally see the results of their slow-acting poison.

    Actually, un-named sources will soon reveal that Ronald Reagan directed the CIA to plant their dreaded Turn Castro Into An Old Guy Device in the second year of Reagan’s presidency.

    Everyone, I’m sure, remembers Reagan’s stirring “Mister Castro, grow old and infirm!” speech.

  33. 33
    Stooleo says:

    Hey, Is this slimey enough to warrant a five dollar Obama donation.

  34. 34
    Wilfred says:

    Since 2003 the country has made efforts to normalize its ties with the European Union and the United States and has even coined the catchphrase, ‘The Libya Model’, an example intended to show the world what can be achieved through negotiation rather than force when there is goodwill on both sides

    This is nonsense. There is no Libyan government policy other than what emanates from Ghadaffi. His epiphany took place after the Bush Administration showed its willingness to resort to extra-judicial murder by attempting to kill Saddam before the invasion. Largely forgotten now (except by the victims), the invasion was preceded by a ‘targeted’ jdam strike against Saddam’s hq that managed to level an apartment complex next door and kill up to 25 innocent people, including the usual numbers of children. Ghaddafi got the message.

    The moral and ethical descent of the Bush Administration into killing whoever it pleases by the presto-chango method of calling anyone it wants terrorist (read Muslim) scumbag without evidence, trial or even formal accusation recalls the debasements that the Church commission confronted and stopped some thirty years ago.

    They could have killed Castro any time they wanted. They tried and failed and were ultimately put off from trying again by the simple realization that extra-judicial murder is gangsterism, not government. Threatening Ghaddafi and his family with the same and then calling his cooperation a victory for diplomacy is ridiculous.

  35. 35
    PaulW says:

    Peter Johnson Says:

    Qaddaffi gives up his weapons, Castro steps down, all after the invasion of Iraq. This shows that the Bush doctrine was right after all, despite what the liberal naysayers bray.

    Dear idiot:

    Qaddaffi Duck’s giving up of weapons is mostly due to the lost patronage of a Russia that’s too distracted with Chechyna (sp?) and the Balkans. I didn’t see anything of Bush’s foreign policy that directly affected Libya, only after the point when the Qacky One announced on his own of giving up WMDs and Bush’s people realized they needed to brag about it as a good PR move. And I haven’t seen or heard any foreign policy initiatives from the Bush admin directly regarding Cuba over the last seven years (and I live in Florida: trust me, if any changes in policy had happened I would have heard about it, loudly, from Little Havana). The most obvious explanation is that Castro is old and even he knows he can’t play anymore. So he’s retiring from the official duties of office to let his brother solidify his control. Bush’s neocon doctrine of bullying and confrontation has done NOTHING to push other regimes to clean up their acts. And despite all the buzz now about Castro stepping down… NOTHING is really going to change in Cuba. The status quo isn’t going to change there until Castro’s clique decides on their own to change. U.S. policy hasn’t budged them in 49 years (mostly because the rest of the world doesn’t give a rat’s ass), and there’s nothing Bush and Co. has done or could do outside of military intervention (which we can’t do because of stretched resources, and because the rest of the world won’t condone it).

    Castro stepping down all because of the invasion of Iraq? FIVE YEARS after the invasion of Iraq, and after years of reports about how our military is bleeding off and falling apart??? You’re better off explaining it as Castro stepping down because of the fall of the Berlin Wall back in 1989, in which it’s all due to Bush the Elder’s better statesmanship, wouldn’t you think? There is no direct causality between Cuba and Iraq.

    To be honest, the open refutation of Mussahriff (sp?) by the Pakistanis is a bigger, and scarier, deal than Castro’s departure. Try to focus, people!

  36. 36
    Haltelcere says:

    I don’t understand how maintaining an embargo of Cuba is more beneficial to the US than opening up travel and trade with that country.

    I’m sure the spirit of Chairman Mao is not pleased that China is quickly jettisoning its communist way of life and is actively embracing US-style capitalism (Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut on every street corner!). Sure, the government is still “communist”, but day-to-day life is embracing market capitalism.

    So what better way to “stick it” to Castro than to let Americans freely spend their filthy lucre in Cuba? I mean, wherever Americans go, so do the fast food chains (can’t get too far away from home now can we?) and our darn rock-and-roll. Ok, maybe not rock-and-roll anymore, but Brittany, Paris, TomCat, etc. Lets drive Cubans crazy with that!

    More sanctions are not going to work – they haven’t worked in 50 years, so why keep them going?

    The only drawback is that people would travel to Cuba for the best cancer care in the world, and then realize even more how sucky our health care really is.

  37. 37
    T-Rex says:

    Peter Johnson: Wow, that’s brilliant! Just invade a country that didn’t attack you, and then just wait a few years, and when an 82 year old dictator in failing health retires, you’ll know that the credit is all ours!

  38. 38
    Neal says:

    Like I said, I don’t want to give Bush credit for anything. I don’t like him and I don’t think he deserves it…but, I saw up thread where Clinton was getting credit for it all and someone said this:

    (P.S. I think Quaddafi gave up his weapons under Clinton.)

    I was doing my best to clear up that inaccuracy.
    As far as Iraq scaring him shitless, yes, that was an inference. Hell, with that cowboy in the White House and a spineless US Congress, I would have been a bit nervous.

  39. 39
    The Other Steve says:

    I was looking for a statement from Hillary about this Fidel resignation, and I couldn’t find it.

    But look, I don’t think it matters. We’re not going to win Florida anyway, so there really is no point in arguing about this. I just feel sad that the voters of florida have been disenfranchised by the DNC and told that they don’t matter. That they don’t count.

  40. 40
    TheFountainHead says:

    Hey, Is this slimey enough to warrant a five dollar Obama donation.

    Well, yeah, and then also slimey enough to keep me from voting for a Democrat so long as I shall live if they let her get away with it. That would be the opposite of Democracy in action.

  41. 41
    The Other Steve says:

    Hey, Is this slimey enough to warrant a five dollar Obama donation.

    There is nothing slimey about this. It’s just politics. If Barack Obama can’t handle politics, he shouldn’t be trying to run for President. This nomination belongs to Hillary, and we’re going to make sure she gets it.

  42. 42
    Librarian says:

    Anyone who thinks Castro won’t remain in control is kidding themselves. Perhaps though, some good will come of it and the Cuban people might be spared his four hour speeches.

    Yes, this is just a formal office he’s leaving. Like Mao, he will be in control until he dies, no matter who’s formally in charge.

  43. 43
    The Other Steve says:

    I think Hillary could gain a lot of support due to this Cuba thing if she advocated we invade Cuba now to liberate the country from the rule of Castro.

    I hope she introduces legislation to that effect shortly.

  44. 44
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    This nomination belongs to Hillary, and we’re going to make sure she gets it.

    Interesting choice of words in a thread about Fidel Castro.

  45. 45
    The Other Steve says:

    Interesting choice of words in a thread about Fidel Castro.

    I can assure you that Hillary Clinton is 100% opposed to Fidel Castro, and she will not tolerate his existence when she becomes President.

  46. 46
    The Other Steve says:

    And unlike Barack Obama, Hillary is committed to not talking to Fidel Castro about anything!

  47. 47
    The Other Steve says:

    Well, unless Fidel commits to dying. Then she’ll maybe talk to him.

  48. 48
    Neal says:

    I just feel sad that the voters of florida have been disenfranchised by the DNC and told that they don’t matter. That they don’t count.

    Tell me this is a joke.
    I don’t feel “disenfranchised” and I live in Florida.
    I just feel like the democratic party, both in our state and nationally, have been acting like a bunch of children with that issue.
    Not my fault.
    The only thing that would make me upset is if our delegates went to Hillary and ended up changing the outcome.
    Then I might feel “disenfranchised”.

  49. 49
    IanY77 says:

    “My only desire is to fight as a soldier for my ideas.’’

    Spoken like a true Young Republican!

    “Why aren’t you in Iraq?”

    “I’m fighting the War of Ideas at home”.

  50. 50
    The Other Steve says:

    Tell me this is a joke.

    Shhh. I’m the new pro-Hillary troll.

    Perhaps I should change my name. I think Some Other Brian Guy is still available.

  51. 51
    NonyNony says:

    More sanctions are not going to work – they haven’t worked in 50 years, so why keep them going?

    Because keeping a strong anti-Castro policy has netted politicians votes for 50 years. Neither party is willing to go too far with Cuba because Florida is a swing state.

    And, to be fair to the politicians, any time the US started nosing around to try to get a sane policy in place, Castro did something stupid/crazy to prove his authoritarian bona fides – like rounding up opposition and/or journalists and throwing them in jail. Almost like he was trying to keep the US policy in place. Because every authoritarian leader needs an enemy to point to when his people wonder why they still need him.

    So it is possible that with Raoul in power we can move towards a saner posture re: Cuba — if Raoul is interested in having better relations and Fidel is willing to let him, that is. Otherwise, we’ll just have to wait and see what track the next guy wants to take. But I don’t think that the Cuban exiles are going to be happy with the results regardless – I don’t think they’re going to be getting their land back any time soon. In fact, I think at this point the best they can hope for is that their descendants will be able to sue the government of Cuba for reparations someday – and even that will be a stretch.

  52. 52
    Sock Puppet of the Great Satan says:

    “Perhaps though, some good will come of it and the Cuban people might be spared his four hour speeches.”

    Four hours? Wouldn’t that be a bit short for one of Fidel’s speeches?

    {How he could make those speeches for hours and hours without needing to take a piss is beyond me.}

  53. 53

    […] UPDATE: An example of the sheer idiocy one would expect from the Left on this subject: The history behind Cuba and the rise of Castro is complex, and I do not agree with him in any way that I am aware of, but I do have to admire the fact that he stuck it to the US for 49 years. With the way we like to go around and rearrange the world, the fact that he was able to stay that long is pretty interesting. […]

  54. 54
    Neal says:

    This nomination belongs to Hillary, and we’re going to make sure she gets it.

    Dennis-SGMM, you beat me to it. Definitely a funny comment in a thread about Castro. Kudos to you sir.

  55. 55
    Jen says:

    So the sanctions worked!

  56. 56
    SpotWeld says:

    So, would Castro fit the model of a Unitary Executive?

  57. 57
    Fausto Carmona says:

    One spoof post by PJ and the thread is off and running. 9/10

  58. 58
    libarbarian says:

    And another Freedom-Domino falls.

    Lets recap:
    1. 2003 – Bush topples Saddam
    2. 2006 – Bush orders a Surge.
    3. 2008 – Castro steps down.

    Despite the best efforts of the liberal media and their blogonazi allies, George Bush has defeated an enemy that had resisted every president for the past 60 years. Bush accomplished Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, and even Reagan (PBUH) had failed to do!

    Take THAT all you libs who opposed the invasion of Iraq, the surge, and otherwise spreading freedom around the globe.

  59. 59
    libarbarian says:

    [/snark]

  60. 60
    Tim C says:

    Interesting article in the Washington Post Opinion section this past Sunday about how privately people are saying Raul is being a better President than Fidel was. Raul, with a long military career, is used to delegating and making results happen. A case in point pointed out is the recent heavy storms over the eastern part of the island that caused mudslides and flooding. One woman said that if Fidel were still in charge he’d have given a speech that would still be going and blamed it all on the imperialists. Raul gave it three sentences and sent the repair crews in. It’s going to be interesting to see Cuba with a pragmatist in charge instead of an idealogue. It would be nice to see the US change its Cuba policies, but with both sides needing Florida’s votes, don’t expect to see either doing anything that might stir up the Cuban exile community.

  61. 61
    Dork says:

    Fausto Carmona Says:

    Has blogging taken the place of long toss and perfecting the gyro-ball?

    Are Beltran and Vlad gunna post here next?

  62. 62

    […] UPDATE: An example of the sheer idiocy one would expect from the Left on this subject: The history behind Cuba and the rise of Castro is complex, and I do not agree with him in any way that I am aware of, but I do have to admire the fact that he stuck it to the US for 49 years. With the way we like to go around and rearrange the world, the fact that he was able to stay that long is pretty interesting. […]

  63. 63

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] UPDATE: An example of the sheer idiocy one would expect from the Left on this subject: The history behind Cuba and the rise of Castro is complex, and I do not agree with him in any way that I am aware of, but I do have to admire the fact that he stuck it to the US for 49 years. With the way we like to go around and rearrange the world, the fact that he was able to stay that long is pretty interesting. […]

  2. […] UPDATE: An example of the sheer idiocy one would expect from the Left on this subject: The history behind Cuba and the rise of Castro is complex, and I do not agree with him in any way that I am aware of, but I do have to admire the fact that he stuck it to the US for 49 years. With the way we like to go around and rearrange the world, the fact that he was able to stay that long is pretty interesting. […]

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