'Granma': No Self Respect
Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, Government and State (these being inseparable) has no respect for itself, nor the diplomatic relations established nearly two years ago with the US, as evidenced by the publication of Fidel Castro's latest reflections in "The uncertain fate of the human species," published on Sunday.
In addition to its inconsistencies and reflection of the negative, depressing and pessimistic mood of the ageing populist leader, now in the twilight of his life, his article constitutes an affront and a violation of diplomatic ethics, by recommending a "mud medal" for President Barack Obama – who has done more than anyone to resolve the historical dispute between Cuba and the US and to lift the embargo that Fidel Castro has always wielded as an explanation for every kind of disaster in Cuba and all his anti-democratic and repressive policies.
Opponents of the normalization of relations between the two countries will use this incident to reproach Obama and "demonstrate" to him that the Cuban Government is taunting him, after having "used" him.
Hopefully the White House will not attach any importance to these "reflections" and will ignore them, as they seem calculated to incite a diplomatic clash, and could well be part of a campaign designed by Fidel to sabotage the normalization process, an objective which the "champion of anti-Americanism" has been bent on ever since relations were restored, when he wrote in another of his reflections: "I never talked with them," or when he criticized the US president's visit to Cuba in an article caustically entitled "Brother Obama."
I suspect that Raúl and the Cuban military must not be very happy with his brother's "reflections, as they are interested in continuing to improve relations with the northern neighbor in every way, particularly in increasing revenues from augmented trade and economic exchanges with the US.
It is significant that this mess with Fidel comes at a time when the Cuban Government is striving to bring about other changes in US policy that might loosen the strings of the embargo before Obama leaves office.
Cuban diplomacy could be in trouble and is probably conveying explanations to the Americans in order to keep from being compromised by the former leader's awkward remarks. Although it also possible that in their analyses they have concluded that Obama is nearing the end of his term and is now unable to act, such that nothing can be done in the immediate future.
Fidel Castro can write whatever crosses his mind at this point. What does not make much sense is for Granma to publish it on the front page, stoking anti-US fires, specifically against President Barack Obama, demonstrating their apparent ignorance of the fact that the Cold War, when it was common practice to insult the US president, is over.
This is a disconcerting sign of the times in Cuba, evidencing the incoherent positions being transmitted by the Palace of the Revolution, although some seek to downplay the issue, saying that the Castro brothers are just playing "good cop, bad cop" to keep the people and the enemy confused, though they would really appear to be hostages of a mutual tolerance imposed on them by historical circumstances.
Perhaps now those who believed that the leader no longer throws any weight in Cuba will better appreciate the state of internal affairs within the Cuban Government, and the reason for its continuous disasters, inconsistencies and contradictory communications.