After all, Cuba has precious little to boast about (see article). It is the only country in the Americas that locks citizens up for their beliefs. In a place that before 1959 boasted as many cattle as people, meat is such a scarce luxury that it is a crime to kill and eat a cow. Even the health and education systems, which once put those of many capitalist countries to shame, are now suffering decline. Then there is Fidel’s claim, earlier this year, that while Cuba has enshrined racial equality, America is irredeemably racist and would never accept a black man as president.
All this means that for the Castros, Barack Obama may turn into a far more formidable foe than his predecessors. The danger starts with his example: after all, a young, black, progressive politician has no chance of reaching the highest office in Cuba, although a majority of the island’s people are black.