Tuesday, 19 February 2008

The King is Dead, Long Live the King......

In opposite ends of the world leaderships shifted. Fidel Castro is not seeking re-election as President of Cuba and President Musharref of Pakistan conceded defeat in parliamentary elections.

Earth shattering? Debatable.

Both dictators have not actually lost power but they have moved the administration of their states to others. Castro is still First Secretary of the Party and Musharref is still president but no one is giving him favorable odds on staying long. And the Pakistani army is dithering over who to support.

Autocratic Castro has handed over to his brother, Raul. And Musharref is playing the normal round of musical chairs with Pakistan's plutocratic elite as one family trades power with another. Both are essentially feudal states.

Have the people gained anything? Is democracy about to explode into their spheres? Unlikely--that will be a long time coming.

1 comment:

Richard Sál said...

I have to say I agree with you entirely.

Cuba will be the same until Castro dies; unfortunately he has shown an annoying ability to stave off death. Lets be honest it’s not like power is going to a reformer, of any description. The most one can say about Raul is that he’s not Fidel, which isn’t saying much if anything.

Cuba needs a lack of Castro, to achieve anything relevant. The fact that he ‘retired’ means nothing. All it does it is convince gullible people that change might occur.

Let’s look at the prospects of Pakistan, the opposition parties managed to crush Musharraf’s party. They may even cobble together a coalition. They may even banish Musharraf from Pakistani politics. But can they truly create a real democracy?

When one considers the immovable and intimidating spectre that is the Pakistani army, it’s doubtful. With the army around any change in Pakistani politics lacks permanence. The army, have proved time and time again that they are more then willing to intervene in Pakistani politics. If real change is made will the army acquiesce to it?

Perhaps, but I wouldn’t bet on it.