Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"I Feel Good"

Fidel Castro has announced on the radio show of Venezuela's leader Hugo Chavez that he's on the mend after months of illness. It certainly seems as if it really was him, and given his ability to discuss current events it does appear he's genuinely getting better again. No word yet on whether his statement "I feel good" was accompanied by a James Brown-esque yelp, but then he is knocking on a bit.

This won't get rid of the speculation about what happens when he's not there anymore. The huge population of Cuban exiles living in Florida would dearly love to return to the island (or, more likely after all these years, go there for the first time) as part of a US-backed capitalist state. That isn't going to happen straight away when Castro finally does die - his brother who's currently running the show will remain in charge - but once the big man is gone there's no way things will continue as they are forever.

If a new, strong Cuban leader along the lines of Chavez emerges, then Cuba could remain a strongly socialist thorn in America's side. But more likely relations between Cuba and its massive near-neighbour will gradually thaw, with flights going back and forward and the big US companies moving there. This will be good for a lot of people in Cuba, and not so good for a lot of other people. But then, that's capitalism.

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