Fidel and U.S. Politics

Florida Sen. Mel Martinez, as reported by the Miami Herald, seems to think that Cuba is preparing the Cuban people for news of Castro's death. Comparing it to the Spain's slow dissemination, over the course of a few days, of the news that Franco had died, Martinez said "You would trickle it out, you would try to avoid the shock to the Cuban people."

I don't know whether to believe that Castro's dead just yet, but I do believe that if Castro were to die in the coming months, it could have a great effect on U.S. politics. I'm not the only one. Here's The Atlantic's James Fallows, providing a possible dispatch from the future:

And in 2008 [the Democrats] were unexpectedly saved by the death of Fidel Castro. This drained some of the pro-Republican passion of South Florida's Cuban immigrants, and the disastrous governmental bungling of the "Cuba Libre" influx that followed gave the Democrats their first win in Florida since 1996-—along with the election.
Could this happen?

Sure, why not. But just as easily, a government more threatening to the United States could come to power. Or a terrible humanitarian crisis could follow the death of Castro (or the fall of his government)necessitatingg some sort of military response. We all have beenprogrammedd to believe that the GOP is the better party when guns are involved (and so has the electorate) so a possible Democratic advantage could just as easily become a Republican advantage.

We do, however, have one thing going for us. If the fall of Cuban Communism happens under the Bush Administration's watch, we can almost beguaranteedd that the response will be bungled. What has BushCo. gotten right?

With some luck, Georgie and Friends won't screw up anythingpermanentlyy and the Democrats will actually be able to capitalize on it, at least as far as Florida's 27 electoral votes.

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