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Jeffrey Goldberg's Scoop of the Year: The Castro Interview

The next installment of the interview with Castro then presented another shocker. Said the old revolutionary: "The Cuban model doesn't  even work for us any more." Julia Sweig of the Council on Foreign Relations, who accompanied Goldberg, explained that what Castro meant is that "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." She interprets this as meaning he is trying to pave the way for allowing more privatization of the kind his brother Raul is supposedly trying to implement.

Hard-line old Communists, she explained, do not look friendly upon this. Looking back at Cuba's pre-revolutionary history, it is similar to the period in which Castro used the old Cuban Communist Party but turned against their traditional model of taking power and went his own way through the path of guerrilla warfare, which they considered "adventurist" and "petty-bourgeois," preferring to rely on the traditional leading role of the urban working class through strikes and other tactics in which the Communists took the leading role.

I think Goldberg goes too far in claiming that this is a "free-market experiment" which will give foreign investors the upper hand in moving into  Cuba. Goldberg does not seem to realize that in fact they already own many of the hotels, but in partnership with the Cuban state, thereby removing control from the foreign firms that invest. It is not the kind of free-market investment in which, for example, a British firm like BP can move en masse into Louisiana and control our resources.

Finally, Castro asks Goldberg to accompany him to the Cuban dolphin show, which he does. And here he says Castro is right: it is the best dolphin show he has ever seen. The reason is simple. The dolphins, like Castro, are dialectical materialists. Our free-market dolphins are not, like the Cuban ones, Marxist-Leninists. That proves how smart they are. Some things are really quite easy to explain.