jimmoyer, I agree with you Castro is nearly impossible to work with, but Cuba may not be a Athens, but it sure isn't a North Korea. A lot of what many American's believe about Cuba is largely prapaganda, of course Castro doesn't help the matter by being a Dictator. But Cuba has improved much since there revolution, which the american government ignores.
Clinton had started a process to which a future normalization with Cuba seemed to be evident. But it would seem as if Bush has gone back to the cold war.
I think in the end it will take a Republican to re-engage, I can't see a Democrat actually going that far, even though some may believe in it the Democrats as a party can't because as soon as they would they would fear they would be seen as "soft on communism" or "soft on dictators"
Of course another problem here is the UN. The UN should become a body which pushes for democracies in nations like Cuba. Which have electoral traditions set in place, but because of the backwards use of "democratic centrialism" or just plainly a dicator who converts this system to his own ends should have the force of the UN on them.
BTW here's a blurb on Democratic Centrialism. It's a Marxist-Leninist Theory of Government after a revolution. It's supposed to be a bottom up government. Every level of government debates and decide's what the goals, policy and so on for the nation is and then passes it up to the next level. they debate and what not and then bring it to the centrial committee who then is supposed follow what the lower governments have already passed and debated over. Of course by this time the magority wins and the minority in the interest of the magority and the nation are supposed to follow this plan to the teeth.
Stop me if you already think this sounds like a Rousseau like idea? Because it is.
Anyhow thats in Theory. Even in theory I don't like it because the minority is forced to agree with the magority in the end. In practice it is top down. The Centrial committee decides policy or just pretty much the chairman, presdent whatever you want to call him and it's brought down to the other levels, but only to enforce or rubber stamp. Completely usless system and very undemocratic.
Thats one of the MANY problems with democratic centrialism is it is very easy to pervert!
See, if Canada nudge and got involved more, we could help them set up new forms of government which could be seen as more democratic. I think once you do that it is possible for everything just to fall in place.
Of course I'd prefer a split in the CCP. There were talks awhile ago of a possible split in the Chiness Communist party to introduce a more democratic government. But you also already have "fractional" groups in the assembly but they are completely inert and don't have freedom to act truly independitly.
If you split the CP though of either Cuba or Chine these are people who already have posistion and power mostly. You would have to use them to introduce democracy, at least at first.
I'm sure many individuals now in both the CP of Cuba and China are good people who just want to serve there nation. Some may not even be communists, some might just be social democrats, other conservative nationalists, others liberals. These parties would surely form.