The Australian presents this great editorial about Cuba:
Time for Cuba to come in from cold
People have voted with their feet on Castro’s paradise
IN the early days of his five-decade social experiment, Fidel Castro set himself a novel key performance indicator. He told CBS anchorman and liberal icon Edward Murrow: “When we have fulfilled our promise of good government, I will cut my beard.”
To that extent at least, he has been a man of his word. Yesterday, Dr Castro shuffled off into belated retirement sporting a track suit modelled on the Cuban flag with his straggly, white beard intact. His singular failure to deliver good government should come as no surprise to anyone. Communism has been an abject failure wherever it has been tried, and Cuba is no exception.
Yet that Cuba is an exception is precisely what its Western apologists claim, even though none of them has ever been so enamoured of the Cuban miracle that they have chosen to live there. A queue of leftist intellectuals starting with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir was happy to have photos taken with revolutionary pin-up boy Che Guevara and help out with literacy campaigns. But the same people were rather more close-lipped as newspapers and printing presses were shut down. Half a century on, Ignacio Ramonet, editor of Le Monde Diplomatique, is still eulogising the Cuban revolution but he is not enthusiastic enough to actually take a job and live in the workers’ paradise.