Godlike Productions - Discussion Forum
Users Online Now: 989 (Who's On?)Visitors Today: 139,559
Pageviews Today: 262,528Threads Today: 112Posts Today: 2,209
04:52 AM

Rate this Thread

Absolute BS Crap Reasonable Nice Amazing

Castro near death - Castro's brother hints at new direction. (Bring on the Condo developers and McDonalds...!!!)

Anonymous Coward
User ID: 60206
United States
12/18/2006 12:09 PM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Castro near death - Castro's brother hints at new direction. (Bring on the Condo developers and McDonalds...!!!)
Castro's brother hints at new direction
By Alex Massie in Washington
Last Updated: 8:22am GMT 18/12/2006

Fidel Castro's brother and designated successor as Cuban leader hinted that he was prepared to take the communist island in a new direction yesterday by meeting a delegation of US congressmen in Havana.

Amid speculation that Fidel Castro was close to death, the ailing leader telephoned Communist party provincial officials at the weekend to remind them - and the watching world - that the Cuban leader is still alive and capable of functioning, even though day to day matters are now being run by his younger brother - and designated successor - Raul Castro.

The 80 year old dictator has not made a public appearance in four months and rumours persist that he is close to death. The exact state of the ailing dictator's health remains unclear but Washington and Havana are each preparing for "Life After Fidel". The US believes Castro has inoperable cancer and is unlikely to live beyond 2007.

A ten-strong Congressional delegation visited Cuba this weekend for meetings with the Cuban regime. "Diplomacy can be testing and testy," said Gregory Meeks, a Democratic Congressman and member of the House International Relations Committee. "Raul Castro said recently that Cuba is ready to negotiate, and I think we need to take advantage of that. This is a relationship where both sides have needs that can be met."

Although there is little prospect that US Cuban policy is likely to change, many Democrats now argue that maintaining the status quo is also counter-productive. They would like to see the US lift its trade embargo against Cuba. "Let's do it and put the ball in their court," said Jim McGovern, a Democratic member of congress from Massachusetts. Mr McGovern said it was time for the US to change its approach to Cuba. "We've been doing this for over four decades and have nothing to show for it."

However Tom Shannon, the most senior US diplomat for Latin America, said last week that Washington had yet to see any reformers in the Cuban government. "Once [Castro] goes, the successor government is going to have to chart out some kind of path into the future. There are no clear signals of what that path is going to be."

"We don't see any significant possibility of change of any kind until Fidel is gone." Mr Shannon said that any US engagement with Cuba must be "part of a change process that facilitates a democratic transition".

"We are attentive to what is happening in Cuba, to what would happen after Fidel Castro passes from the scene. When we engage it has to be part of a democratic change".