Ships passing in the night

Ron Hart Contributor
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It seems Fidel Castro had a deathbed conversion and now seeks to move his country toward capitalism. He told 500,000 government employees that they need to find work in the private sector. Their response, “What is a private sector?”

The economic policies of Castro and Obama are like two ships passing in the night; we are heading toward socialism and they, realizing it has never worked, are moving toward capitalism.

Fidel Castro, the longest-ruling socialist dictator (if you do not count Oprah), said that he will lay off unnecessary government workers and lift some regulations on business. I presume he came to this realization after seeing the downward trajectory that just two years of socialism have set our country on, and it scared him.

In a rare interview with The Atlantic Monthly, Castro said, among other revelations, that he wished he had not been so hard on gays. I guess the difficulty of getting a stylish haircut made him realize the errors of his ways. To make it up to the gays for fifty years of persecution, Castro plans to allow the TV show Glee to air in Cuba.

This consolatory bravado comes as Cuba realizes it has until November to cut a deal with our leftist Congress to end our embargo on the island nation. When asked about this sudden change of tone from Cuba, the Hillary State Department denied being involved. It is nice bit of nostalgia to see a Clinton denying things again.

Nancy Pelosi is Castro’s best shot at seeing things his way. There is even a street named after him in her San Francisco loon-fringe district. Who would better understand a thugocracy than a thugocrat like Pelosi?  She was also “elected” by a small, desperate fraction of a country and allowed to run it, against the will of the majority, as her own self-aggrandizing socialist utopia.

Like everywhere else, what matters is the economy.  It turns out socialism does not produce economic growth–government only produces more government. Castro has not been able to supply even the basic necessities of life in his country as it has grown. For example, there are about eleven million people in Cuba and only 10 million murals of Fidel Castro.

It got so bad when billionaire Fidel Castro could not provide for his country that the people took matters into their own hands. Citizens in Cuba concocted a plan to pool their money and buy a car they could all share. On ChavezList.org, they located a nice 1978 Chrysler Le Baron in Venezuela on which they have been dickering. A car they can all share will make it easier for them to attend mandatory Communist Party rallies.

On the bright side, Cuba achieved Obama’s dream of socialized health care about fifty years ago, which is also the average age of its ambulance fleet.

Communism, like the Mafia and politics, is a family business. That is why Fidel Castro appointed his brother, Raul (which I think is Spanish for “Jeb”), to run the country when he dies.

Castro’s mini-me, Kim Jong Il of North Korea, will let one of his sons run the country when he dies. I knew these guys had no problem starving their countrymen in their ruthless pursuit of power, but to stoop to nepotism?

Can you imagine two families running a country for twenty years? I am glad that could not happen here.

It is funny to watch despots evolve over time. They always pretend to hate us while emulating our ways. Like “Lil’ Kim” Jong Il, fancying Western liquors like Cognac, popping Viagra like mints, and dating women half their age. Lil’ Kim is just front-row, LA Lakers season tickets away from being an aging Hollywood star.

Maybe producers in Tinsel Town could do a reality show called Cuba’s Got Talent, but without running water, cars and food. Better yet, they could have Survivor: Cuba. Eleven million citizens try to survive the living immunity challenge each week in order to make it to the next week. Then there is the one where the members of the tribe make a boat out of Styrofoam ice chests and try to make it to the U.S. Unlike in the American version of Survivor, contestants who get off the island are considered the winners.

Ron Hart is a syndicated op-ed humorist, author and TV/radio commentator. Email Ron@RonaldHart.com or at visit RonaldHart.com.