CBSNews.com greets readers of its World Watch blog today with, "Cubans Look For 'Change' To Believe In."
The blog post by Havana-based Portia Siegelbaum began by insisting that:
Expectations are almost as high among Cubans as they are among Americans as the countdown to the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama speeds up.
Of course, far-left rhetoric notwithstanding, the United States is a republic with two major parties and a healthy tradition of freedom of speech and press, whereas Cuba is a totalitarian throwback to the Soviet era.
Yet Siegelbaum failed to note that President Raul Castro is a dictator unanswerable to the call of change from his people.
What's more, the CBS reporter practically laid the entire blame for Cuba's poor economy not on the failures of Communism and dictatorship but the long-standing U.S. embargo:
Cuban President Raul Castro (at left), like his brother Fidel before him, has successfully blamed many of his country's problems on the embargo, and almost all Cubans believe life would be easier and shortages would disappear if relations with their large neighbor to the north were normalized.
Most of the world seems to agree. At a Latin American summit in Brazil at the end of December, 33 Caribbean and Latin American nations called for an end to the embargo and for the past consecutive 17 years the United Nations General Assembly has weighed in against it — the most recent vote was 185-3.
It gets worse:
On a human level, U.S. policy has meant dividing families.
For Felicita Rodriguez, a 55-year-old Havana shop clerk, the fundamental problem is "travel and remittances." Both were severely restricted in May 2004, when outgoing President George Bush limited Cuban American visits to one, two-week visit every three years, and only if they had immediate family living on the island. The policy blotted out aunts, uncles and cousins with the stroke of a pen.
Of course the CBS reporter failed to account for how, say, political imprisonments and spurious executions at the hand of the Castro government have divided families.