Oh, to find just the right greeting card. Do they even have American Greetings in Cuba?
If so, do you suppose they have one of those "Sorry I messed up your country with my stupid revolution" cards?
Actually, we're pretty sure there's an unopened case of them. Fidel Castro's not likely to buy one anytime soon.
Yet, the aging, infirm and apparently mellowing Cuban strongman now admits that his stewardship has pretty much been a mistake.
A disaster, from where we sit.
Castro made the amazing admission in a meeting with American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg.
Goldberg, who writes for the Atlantic , asked over lunch whether Castro thought the Cuban model of Marxism is still something he thinks is worth exporting.
"The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore," Castro replied in an offhanded way, according to Goldberg.
Goldberg's blog about the affair seems to be more fascinated with what Castro ate -- and with the dolphin show Castro took him to the next day. And perhaps out of an excess of politeness, Goldberg doesn't even appear to have asked a follow-up question of Castro.
Boy, would we have! We're not sure what would've hit the lunch table first -- our forks or our jaws!
Why don't you think it's working, Mr. President? What do you mean it doesn't work "anymore" -- when did it work, and what has changed to make it not work now? Whose fault is it? Do you accept responsibility for any of it? Is it just the Cuban brand of Marxism that doesn't work, or Marxism in general?
Will you apologize to the Cuban people for impoverishing several generations of them? How can you give someone back his life?
Is it just an economic problem sir? Or is it really political? Can you even separate the two?
If it's a political failure too, and not just an economic one, are you going to apologize? Admit you were wrong? Release all the political prisoners? Buy airline tickets for all the refugees you inspired to leave for greener pastures? Pay reparations to the families of those who died fleeing your failed state?
Will you apologize to the American people for trying to get them nuked during the missile crisis? For all your many lies and slanders toward the yanquis to the north? For the untold pain of the embargo, which your own belligerence is singularly responsible for? Will you apologize and make reparations to other countries you've meddled with in the hemisphere over the decades -- trying to export a tyranny you now admit doesn't work?
Nah, we didn't think so.
Perhaps Castro's odd tangential rebuke of his own legacy will be seized upon as permission for a more invigorated Cuban-style perestroika . Let's hope so. But Mr. President, your mild, carefree "Gee, this doesn't seem to be working" little throwaway remark, contemptible enough in its breeziness, is patently offensive without some sort of mea culpa.
Then again, "Sorry I messed up your country with my stupid revolution" wouldn't be much better.