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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Élucubrations sur les déclarations de Castro

by Cathy Ceïbe

Ramblings about Castro’s recent statements

Translated Sunday 26 September 2010, by Kieran O’Meara and reviewed by Henry Crapo

Statements by the former president to an American journalist that "the Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore" have given rise to all sorts of interpretations.

"The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore." The statement given by Fidel Castro to the American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg (The Atlantic), invited to Cuba by the former Cuban president, has caused much ink to flow. [1]/ "Fidel acknowledges the failure of Castroism", Le Figaro told us on its front page, and Le Monde added, "Castro no longer wants to export the Cuban model". What is needed is a return to the source material. A question-and-answer style interview wasn’t involved but instead three days of informal exchanges between Goldberg and Castro. They focussed, for the most part, on the danger of "an unjustified confrontation" with Iran, lead by the United States and Israel.

The French press discovers the Moon is round

No great scoop to be seen. Fidel Castro, has warned publicly, and on several occasions, against the disastrous potential consequences of such an attack. On this occasion, the general secretary of the Cuban Communist Party spoke of his "antipathy towards anti-Semitism", wrote Goldberg, in reference to remarks made by the Iranian president denying the Holocaust. A "re-scoop"? Let’s examine it closely. Goldberg writes: "I asked him if the Cuban model was still something that could be exported." "The Cuban model no longer even works for us", he replied. The author was "astonished", but curiously did not ask his interlocutor to elaborate. Since then, there has been an ever-growing number of interpretations in a certain section of the press working itself into a lather about supposed conflict between the Castro brothers, or about the former president’s criticisms of his own handling of the Missile Crisis of 1962... Anyone who has watching the country without the aid of distorting lenses would know that its leaders have not spoken for quite some time of models for import or export. The policy of "rectification", to give one example, bears witness to their capacity for self-criticism. As far as rights for gay and transexual people in Cuba are concerned, today they are among the most advanced in the world. Fidel Castro’s statement is to be seen in context. Namely that of reforms to change the course of a statism which has reached its limits. Reforms which are sometimes as painful as they are courageous, all against the backdrop of a world economic crisis, and also in a country which, let’s not forget, has been subject to a blockade for half a century. On this point, Goldberg speaks of the "hypocritical policies" of the United States. Not a word about that in France, however...

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