Fidel Castro, Dictator of Cuba, is nearing death the United States Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte announced today. While this may not be a surprise to those who follow the news closely as he has been sick for a few months now, the word is still good news for those who love and respect freedom.
The people of Cuba have been living in fear of their lives for too long now. They fear that they will be imprisoned if they say anything against the government, or even put to death. The country lives at a poverty level that is obscene. And their tourism and trade businesses are hurt by the embargo.
However, when Castro passes on, the country could right itself quickly. Opening up trade and tourism on the island to the United States, getting rid of the trade barriers, and providing the people of the country freedom could create an economic tiger. And that would be good news.
“Everything we see indicates it will not be much longer . . . months, not years,” Negroponte told a meeting of Washington Post editors and reporters.
Castro relinquished power for the first time in 47 years after surgery July 31 for an undisclosed intestinal disorder. His brother, Raul, has assumed Castro’s duties, but Cuban authorities have repeatedly insisted that he is recovering and eventually will return to office. He was last seen in an Oct. 28 video, shown on Cuban national television, in which he appeared gaunt and weak and warned that his convalescence would be lengthy.
The Cuban leader did not show up as anticipated at a Dec. 2 national celebration in Havana scheduled to commemorate his 80th birthday and the 50th anniversary of the Cuban revolution. In a brief speech at the event, Raul Castro imparted no message from his brother but said that Cuba is willing to open negotiations with the United States “to settle the long U.S.-Cuba disagreement.” via the washingtonpost.com.