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What would Chavez’s demise mean for Cuba?

December 11th, 2012 | Posted by Alex in Uncategorized

Anya Landau French hopes for “not much”:

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With Chavez’s political career coming to an end, the hemisphere has a chance to lower ideological tensions; a new Venezuelan president kicking Cuba to the curb would not serve that aim. However, a new Venezuelan president might have a unique opportunity to dialogue with Cuba on issues of consequence, which if approached on equal footing, Cuba might be willing to agree to – especially if it means no abrupt cuts to economic ties. But cutting Cuba off in the middle of its fledging economic reforms could have serious consequences, and not necessarily good ones. Paced well, a restructured, less robust relationship is in both countries’ interest.

This sounds to me like wishful thinking –a new Venezuelan president would have the upper hand in negotiations and little incentive to continue the bad domestic policies  and oil-fueled adventurism of the Chavez era. I, on the other hand, continue hoping that a future without Venezuela’s patronage forces the Cuban government to adopt even greater reforms. It would be best for both countries in the long term.

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