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How Not To Celebrate Castro’s Resignation

Unsatisfied with missing Barack Obama's about-face on Cuba, Steven Clemons has written this extraordinary piece for Comment is Free. It's clear that his advocacy for ending the trade embargo is moored to his twittish belief that life in Cuba is … Read More

By / February 21, 2008

Unsatisfied with missing Barack Obama's about-face on Cuba, Steven Clemons has written this extraordinary piece for Comment is Free. It's clear that his advocacy for ending the trade embargo is moored to his twittish belief that life in Cuba is just peachy:

While few have yet come to understand the importance of his announcement and the manner of it in the US, the fact that Castro is concluding his term at the end of his constitutionally determined tenure demonstrates a respect for rule of law, at least in Cuban terms.

 Actually, nothing in the Cuban constitution determines the length of Castro’s “presidency.” All it does is stipulate that the National Assembly decides who occupies this post. As far as a “higher body of people’s power” is concerned, the National Assembly operates much like the Soviet Central Committee did. (One of the unfulfilled promises of the Communist revolutionaries was to restore the country’s 1940 Constitution, which Batista abrogated but which had previously been hailed one of the most “progressive” democratic covenants in the world.) Also, a “respect for rule of law”? One hesitates to imagine what Clemons would consider disrespect for the rule of law.

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