It's about time...
HAVANA (AP) - Little was known of Fidel Castro's condition Tuesday after he underwent an operation and temporarily turned over the Cuban presidency to his brother Raul, ushering in a period of uncertainty at home and celebrations by his enemies abroad.
The surprise announcement that Castro had been operated on to repair a "sharp intestinal crisis with sustained bleeding" stunned Cubans on the island and in exile, and marked the first time that Castro, two weeks away from 80th birthday, had relinquished power in 47 years of absolute rule.
Castro has been in power since the Jan. 1, 1959 triumph of the armed revolution that drove out dictator Fulgencio Batista. He has been the world's longest-ruling head of government and his ironclad rule has ensured Cuba's place among the world's five remaining communist countries, along with China, Vietnam, Laos and North Korea.
Castro resisted U.S. demands for multiparty elections and an open economy and insisted his socialist system would long outlive him.
This guy took over Cuba in 1959 and managed to survive 9 different U.S. presidents, trade and travel embargos, and economic isolation from the U.S.
Surely there cannot be very many people ready to step in and pick up where he left off. Dictators do not maintain power because people love the man and Socialism, they do it with fear and intimidation. The second he is pronounced dead, they should throw open the doors to Cuba, invite any hotel chain that is interested to set up shop on the island, and put up an "Open for Business" sign. The island would be an instant cash cow from tourism alone, and half of Miami would return home.
If only it were that simple.