Cuba's Bold Path

Yielding to U.S. threats that he resign immediately or face the possibility of death from natural causes, 81-year-old Communist strongman Fidel Castro has stepped down. Acknowledging that America was fully committed to doing absolutely nothing to prevent the robustly ailing tyrant's life from ending of its own accord, the self-appointed Cuban ruler hastily departed the post he held for barely half a century.

This last credible non-Muslim threat to capitalism tumbled from his frail perch almost as swiftly as he seized it during the waning days of the Eisenhower administration. Gone forever is the vile colossus who, a mere forty-six years ago, with only the full support of the Soviet Union, China and all Warsaw Pact signatories, single handedly pushed the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Never again is his red claw to loom above that dreaded button. Never will we be forced to endure another Bay of Pigs Incident, whatever that may have been. Never will Caribbean nations need fear another Grenada Invasion, aka America's Falkland Islands War. For those who lived through it, the echoes of that conflict, which dragged on for nearly three full news cycles and cost the lives of well over one U.S. serviceman, can never fully fade.

Castro's tenuous grip on power slipped a mere two decades after the collapse of the Soviet empire. Cut adrift from his godless puppet-masters, he cravenly persisted in depriving his salvation starved populace of faith-based-initiatives, deigning instead to palliate them with universal health care and free higher education. With diabolic collectivist zeal he destroyed any symbol of joyful excess and hard-won privilege, shutting down every privately owned hotel, resort, restaurant and casino on this erstwhile Edenic tax-haven for fiscal mavericks. His ill-conceived austerity programs sent countless innocent cigarette-girls, busboys, dealers and chorines into a miniature gulag of re-education camps, cryptically dubbed "universidads" and "facultades de medicina." Thousands of once secure Americans, robbed of their retirement plantations and income shelters, were forced to seek refuge in such embattled locales as St. Martins, Bimini, Aruba, Palau, and even Turks and Caicos.

America's removal of Cuba's "president for life" will endure as another glowing triumph of the Bush legacy, alongside the restoration of Afghanistan's legendary poppy harvest and our continuing victory in Iraq. No doubt the free world joins with us in celebrating yet one more reviled dictator's downfall. His successor, the dynamic and fresh-faced 76-year-old head of Cuba's armed forces, is sure to lead his nation in a wholly new direction, far from the fanatical socialistic demagoguery that is forever to be associated with the name Castro.