Jeffrey Goldberg is stringing us along like an expert political novelist with his Castro interview posts. He gives us some golden nuggets, paints a picture, and before you know it, you're sitting next to Fidel at a Cuban aquarium with a nuclear physicist turned caretaker and Che Guevara's daughter. Fascinating.
In another post yesterday evening, Goldberg reveals another shocking admission by Castro: "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore." That was in response to Goldberg's question about whether or not Castro believes the Cuban model was still something worth exporting.
After asking for clarification, Goldberg's traveling companion Julia Sweig (a leading Latin American scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations) clarified: "He wasn't rejecting the ideas of the Revolution. I took it to be an acknowledgment that under 'the Cuban model' the state has much too big a role in the economic life of the country."
While I will readily concede to Sweig's interpretation, I still think that Castro's admission is big. You can only drive around '50's cars for so long before you realize something isn't working. You can only have so many nuclear physicists as aquarium caretakers before you realize that the model on which you built your economy must be fixed. Castro's either there or getting there.
Which brings me to a quick story.
A couple of months ago I was talking with my wife, who studied in Latin America, about a possible vacation to a Caribbean or Latin location. Over the course of the discussion, our conversation turned to Cuba, its polices, and it's future. After hearing her thoughts, I looked at her and said, "Watch, in our lifetime we will be able to vacation in Cuba." She chuckled and offered a consolatory, "maybe."
Reading these interviews makes me think we'll be booking those tickets sooner rather than later.