Wednesday, February 20, 2008

February 19 day on which Era of two despots comes to an end.

Yesterday Fidel Castro who ruled cuba for over five decades resigned as Cuba's President, effectively ending the ailing Communist icon's iron-clad rule. Castro, who took power in a 1959 revolution, was the world's longest-serving head of government. He handed over power to his Brother Raúl Castro.

With the end of  Soviet era proved catastrophic for President Castro's revolution. Moscow in effect pulled the plug on the Cuban economy by refusing to take its sugar any more.

Still under American blockade and with its Soviet lifeline cut off, chronic shortages and empty shelves in Cuba were inevitable. Tempers grew shorter as the food queues grew longer.

By the mid-1990s, many Cubans had had enough. Thousands took to the sea in a waterborne exodus to Florida. Many drowned. It was a crushing vote of no-confidence in their leader. Even his own daughter Alina Fernandez prefers a life of exile as a dissident in Miami to rule under her "despotic" father.

In 2006, Forbes magazine estimated Castro's personal fortune at $US900 million ($980 million) - almost double the fortune held by Queen Elizabeth. Castro denied the claims.

In another Landmark event, Pakistan’s two centrist opposition parties have routed the pro-Musharraf Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam), a pillar of the military-backed regime that has ruled for eight years, speeding the country towards a return to democratic rule.

Long Live Democracy

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