Decades ago, well before blogs (or even the World Wide Web) existed, it was obvious to me that the US policy with respect to Cuba was a colossal failure: despite its stated aim being to drive Fidel Castro from power, his grip on the reins of state were as firm as ever. I predicted that he would never be overthrown and would die in office, the standard outcome for Stalinist leaders who are not overthrown.
Close, but no Cohiba; instead, he chose to retire. The Castro regime, however, survived, because he appointed his brother to replace him. (Monarchy, anyone?) And now the Castro regime itself is ending in a fashion planned by the regime itself, on that regime’s timetable.
Note how I wrote “ending” instead of “over;” this choice of wording is significant. Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez is merely being appointed president. Raúl Castro remains chairman of the Communist Party, which in a Leninist one-party state is the real position of ultimate power.
I was wrong on the particulars but the end outcome is still that the Castro regime extremely likely to fully survive the stated policy of overthrowing it. A large part of that is because the policy itself was ridiculous. It ignored certain realities of the Cuban Revolution; namely, that it was a genuinely popular expression of revolt against US-backed dictatorship.
Acknowledging the above, of course, means acknowledging the painful truth that the USA runs an oppressive imperialist order, and that’s just something that the political Establishment prefers to lie about and claim doesn’t actually exist. Trump is hardly the first politician to be blinded by his own ego; he’s merely the most egregiously obvious one.
As to what comes next, who knows? The goal of the Cuban Communist Party is to copy the example set by the Chinese and Vietnamese ones, and to continue the existence of an authoritarian regime, dominated by the Party, that survives and outlasts a transition to a more capitalistic economic order.
And just like in China and Vietnam, it’s certainly possible, because capitalism in no way implies the existence of freedom.