Sunday, December 24, 2006

Tired of excuses

After more than 47 years, the Castro regime appears to have admitted what generations of Cubans have known all along: the place just doesn’t work.

In a speech to the rubber-stamp Parliament on Friday, the acting head of state, Raul Castro, told “lawmakers” that “there is no excuse for the transportation and food production problems” that have been part and parcel of Cuban life since … well, since soon after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959.

"In this Revolution we are tired of excuses," Raul Castro said, according to reports in the official media. “Tell the truth, without justifications, because we are tired of justifications.”

Tired of justifications and excuses? You bet.

But if the younger Castro was serious about a fresh start of sorts, he would have accepted responsibility on behalf of his dying 80-year-old brother, Fidel, and himself for the mess that is Cuba today.

The never-ending shortages, the food queues, the lack of anything resembling public transport, the pot-holed roads, the empty medicine cabinets, the dirty hospitals, the crumbling buildings, the acute housing shortages, the blackouts …

They might not say so out loud to foreign journalists in Havana for fear of repercussion, but most Cubans know exactly whom to blame.


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