An Associated Press report out of Havana is highly interesting, on at least two fronts. Front #1:
In a two-hour address to the twice-a-decade meeting of the Cuban Communist Party, [Raúl] Castro praised a new era of detente with the United States and an ensuing boom in tourism.
Raúl’s address was only two hours? Hardly worthy of a Castro.
Anyway, Raúl Castro has praised this “new era of détente” and “an ensuing boom in tourism.” In America, I’m frequently told that détente and tourism will be bad for the dictatorship. And yet the dictatorship welcomes it.
Someone’s wrong, right?
This is a big topic, and I’ve addressed it often, so I’m moving on to Front #2:
In a brief moment of attempted levity, [Raúl Castro] derided American democracy as a sham, saying he saw no difference between Democrats and Republicans.
“It’s as if we had two parties in Cuba and Fidel led one and I led the other,” he said, prompting laughter from the roughly 1,000 party delegates watching his speech …
I hear this all the time, from a certain Right — who express it with less charm than Castro displayed. There’s no difference between the two parties, they say. Together, they’re the “Republicrats.”
The same kind of Right says the same kind of thing in Britain. There are no real differences between the parties, the parties are simply “LibLabCon.”
Both of these notions, here in the U.S. and in the U.K., are cracked.
I’m reminded of Ron Paul, who, last Election Day, went on Russian state TV to say, “Here at home, we don’t have true democracy. We have a monopoly of ideas that is controlled by the leaders of two parties. And they call it two parties, but it’s really one philosophy.”
Uh-huh. Ron Paul, Raúl Castro, and the rest of them — take ’em with a grain of salt, is my advice. And if you want to see “a monopoly of ideas” and one-party rule, look to Cuba. Look to Russia too, Ron.