The “nominally retired” Fidel Castro “poured buckets of water” on his younger brother Raúl’s overtures to the Obama administration, said Andres Oppenheimer in The Miami Herald. Raúl—Cuba’s president—offered to discuss “everything” with the U.S., including human rights and political prisoners. Obama called that “a sign of progress,” but Fidel shot back that Obama had “misinterpreted” Raúl’s remarks.
So much for hope and change, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. “When it comes to Communist regimes, there is always a Big Brother,” and in this case the big brother, Fidel, is still calling the shots. And that’s too bad. Lifting the U.S. trade embargo “is in everyone’s interest,” but it won’t happen so long as “Líder Máximo” Fidel has a veto.
Raúl’s words “should not be taken literally,” anyway, said Brazil’s Estadao in an editorial (via WorldMeets.US). Neither Castro brother will put on the table things—like a free press—that would jeopardize “the essence of their dictatorial regime.” Still, it is a credit to Obama’s outreach that Raúl would break the taboo of even listing his government’s repression and quashed freedoms.