Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Raúl Castro's Pragmatism

Granma just published a speech by Raúl Castro that focused on the economy and foreign policy. Some highlights:

--the U.S. is to blame for anything wrong with the Cuban economy.
--the U.S. is to blame for Cuban migration
--the right (read: U.S.) is to blame for the Venezuelan elections
--the right (read: U.S.) is to blame for the Venezuelan economy
--the right (read: U.S.) is to blame for impeachment calls in Brazil
--Cuba is a responsible citizen of the global capitalist economy

There was no "viva" at the end, and presumably no shouting. Just "muchas gracias."

Basically, you have all the normal anti-U.S. rhetoric while Castro continues to work quietly to normalize Cuba's relationship not only with the U.S. but also with the rest of the world (e.g. debt). All the references to Venezuela lead very logically to that broader normalization because the combination of oil prices and an opposition legislative victory mean Cuba must make things right with other global economic actors. And now.


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