Classic example of the "false choice" between communism on one hand, and Western neo-liberalism on the other. In this case, Cuban dissidents pushing for democracy reject the ideological premise upheld by the US--that being anti-Castro necessarily implies being pro-democracy--and opt instead for a "third way" which seeks to preserve the societal gains achieved by socialism (e.g. universal health care, public education, etc.) while allowing for greater individual freedom, civil rights, and political expression. The US on the other hand would obviously like to remove Castro, but only insomuch he represents an obstacle to business investment and the selling off of all industry for private profit. In this respect, real, popular democracy in Cuba represents a threat to both paradigms: Castro's communism because it challenges the centralized control maintained by his party; and Western neo-liberalism because it challenges the centralized control intrinsic to its economic and financial institutions.No doubt Cuba's reformers are watching the fate of other nations recently opened up to neo-liberal reform (Russia, Eastern Europe, and most recently Iraq) and have not perceived in them a viable model for maintaining real democratic control of their country.
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