Sunday, July 27, 2008

After 50 Years of Misery, Castro Warns of Tough Times Ahead

Naturally, the New York Times lackey reports this with a straight face, failing to note what misery has overrun the island prison since 1959.

Like a true leftwing wacko, Raul Castro spouts the usual bilge about climate change and reminds us Cuba is prepared for the inevitable American invasion that never arrives.
President Raúl Castro used a speech Saturday on the 55th anniversary of the beginning of the Cuban revolution not to unveil any new changes but to call on everyday Cubans to prepare for tough times in the days ahead.

Citing the global economic downturn and the rising cost of oil, Mr. Castro said Cuba and other countries in the developing world face severe challenges that would require belt-tightening and patience.

“We must bear in mind that we are living in the midst of a true world crisis which is not only economic but also related with climate change, the irrational use of energy and a great number of other problems,” he said.

There was speculation that Mr. Castro, who officially took over the presidency in February from Fidel Castro, his older brother, would use Cuba’s important July 26th holiday — which commemorates a failed raid on a military barracks here — to extend the rash of modest changes he had announced in recent months. But he seemed eager to dampen expectations.

“We are aware of the great number of problems waiting to be solved, most of which weigh heavily and directly on the population,” he said, adding later, “Regardless of our great wishes to solve every problem, we cannot spend in excess of what we have.”

Citing one bright spot, he said that tourism had grown 14.8 percent in the first half of this year compared with last year, with nearly 1.3 million people visiting the island.

And the president, a former defense minister, said the country was as prepared as ever for any invasion that might be planned by the United States.

“We shall continue paying special attention to defense, regardless of the results of the next presidential elections in the United States,” he said.
No word who he's endorsing in November, but I have a sneaking suspicion who he prefers.

To show you how bad the reportage from the Times is, even NPR is more honest about what problem Cubans face.
Cuba, which used to be the world's largest sugar exporter, is facing a crisis in agriculture. It is now heavily dependent on U.S. food imports, which have been exempted from Washington's long-standing embargo.

Cuba's infrastructure is crumbling. Raul Castro said the government has plans to rebuild roads, pipelines, houses and railways. But he didn't address whether Cubans might be allowed to freely leave the country or whether they can buy and sell houses. He avoided mentioning the dilemma of Cuba's dual-currency which often forces people to buy necessities in a currency they're not allowed to earn.
Such joy. Now there may be tough times ahead.

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