General Raúl Castro, in his one-minute announcement on Cuban television disclosing the death of his brother, referred to Fidel Castro as the “Founder of the Cuban Revolution” and ended his brief declaration with the standard exhortation: “Until Victory Always!”
Some conservative and libertarian commentators have joined the leftist chorus in blessing President Obama’s moves to “normalize” relations with Castro’s Cuban regime on the basis of hopes that “Trade will lead to freedom.” Unintentionally, Peggy Noonan showed how ill-founded such hopes are: “it wouldn’t be long, with lifted embargoes, before captains of the Cuban army found out what managers of the new Hilton were making and jumped into hotel services” (WSJ December 17 and 20, respectively.) In fact, Cuban regime elites know and control precisely who earns what in the hotels. They alone profit from the nearly $3 billion dollars tourist industry, and from foreign trade in general. Since Obama’s initiatives will channel U.S. money exclusively through Castro regime channels, they can only increase the incentives that Cubans already have to seek their fortunes – most immediately, what they eat – through the clutches of communist tyranny.