Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Old Rogue Alert: The Cincinnati Post has an interesting editorial that explains the latest hijinks in Havana.
Fidel Castro is running scared.

His rubber-stamp National Assembly has convened a special two-day session to rewrite the Cuban constitution to make Castro's brand of socialism "untouchable." The assembly was to perform this chore at a regular session July 25, but the assembly president reckoned the rewrite was so pressingly urgent that he asked Castro for permission to hold the special session.

Castro graciously agreed, and, in a gesture that can't be good for the island's rickety economy, gave Cubans Monday and Tuesday off so they can follow the proceedings.

Why anybody would want to watch is doubtful because the outcome isn't in doubt. It's the anticlimax to a desperate charade to show widespread support for Castro and the bleak way of life he has imposed on his people.

The instant cause of Castro's discomfort seems to be the Varela Project, a courageous, grass-roots movement that collected 11,000 signatures on a petition, delivered to the assembly in May, asking for a national referendum on restoring freedom of speech and association and free enterprise.
What's interesting is that the old rogue felt threatened enough that he went through a bunch of preliminary flummery to even get to this point. Maybe he's afraid the war on terror will find this hemisphere's leading terrorist, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz. Dude! You're getting a hollow point! Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.