Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Castro's Questions


Ruben Perez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Not many U.S. journalists are looking to get his take on the current presidential race, but this article by Fidel Castro, which originally appeared in Granma (the Cuban Communist party newspaper), offers a unique perspective.

I doubt any U.S. presidential candidate is actively seeking an endorsement from the former Cuban president, and Castro is well aware of this: "Were I to defend him, I would do his adversaries a favour. I have therefore no reservations about criticising him and expressing myself frankly." But the 81-year-old revolutionary (who turned over power to his brother Raúl in February) raises a series of interesting points about some extremely complex and nuanced issues, the sort with which it is particularly challenging for viable presidential candidates to find uncontroversial positions while staying true to their policy ideologies and values. 

These are the sorts of political realities with which those who support Nader apparently fail to sympathize, preferring a nonviable candidate with the luxury to neglect an enormous swath of the (unfortunately) unprogressive American electorate.  Castro, though, is cognizant of this difficulty, and clearly respects Obama (he calls him a "talented orator" and the "most progressive candidate for the US presidency") despite denouncing the ongoing U.S. embargo against Cuba—which Obama has promised to maintain—as genocide.

Whatever your opinion of Castro, these are valid and eloquently-asked questions.  It would be interesting to hear Obama's response (and it is unfortunate that many would interpret such a response as some form of Communist validation or something)...

What do you think?

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