Check out Brad DeLong on how, yes indeed Communism produced economic disaster in Cuba just as it did everywhere else. But leaven Brad's righteous anti-Communism with a dose of Tony Karon's take on why Castro remained a compelling figure to many third world political leaders who knew perfectly well that emulating his policies would produce disaster.

I think there's probably a lesson to be learned with regard to current issues with Islamist political movements around the world. For good reasons and for bad ones, the romance of thumbing one's nose at the USA has powerful and important resonance for a lot of people around the world. Under the circumstances, it rarely serves our interests to get into dramatic confrontations with leaders who are far too puny to objectively threaten our interests. After all, what significance would Castro have without his superpower adversary? US persecution of the Communist regime in Havana is really the only thing it has going for it.

Meanwhile, Grame Woode imagines post-Communist Cuba.

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