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Therefore, for the international scene to actually consider that change is taking place in Cuba none of Fidel Castro's men should be part of the government or the administration.
In trying to establish an ascendant trend for the Cuban national and international image, Raul Castro must also deal with the issue of totalitarian rule and that of the state authoritarian leadership in a different manner that one which destroys his authority as state ruler. However, any such measures must include a combination of the implementation of slow democratic measures, and the maintenance of a certain authority especially from the perspective of any political forces that may rise against the system. This is part of the model implemented in China, whose aim was precisely that of controlling the political power while being committed to opening up to foreign investments and western influence.
The international reaction to the rise of Raul Castro to power must be seen from the perspective of the U.S., first and foremost. In this sense, the American attitude towards the change in Cuba can be labeled as being ambiguous in the least. More precisely, "led by Bush, a chorus of officials expressed hope that Castro's departure would spark fundamental change for the Cuban people. They also said they doubted that would happen under Raul Castro and said there was little chance the nearly 50-year-old U.S. embargo on Cuba would be lifted" (CBS, 2008). It can be said from this point-of-view that the U.S., no matter the possible changes that may occur in the Cuban political structure, there is little hope for any reconsideration of the relations between the two neighboring countries. This is largely due to the fact that Cuba, despite the change in the name of its ruler, is still perceived as being part of the communist tradition of rule.
Other reactions on the international scene also include Germany, a leading European country and one which has faced totalitarian rule for a considerable part of its history. However, at the moment, German President Horst Koehler officially affirmed his confidence in the new Cuban leader. In this sense, he "sent Raul Castro a congratulatory telegram in which he said his accession to power raised "high expectations at home and abroad. I wish you luck in using this chance for changes in a dialogue with all parts of society. The necessary economic and political reforms, including further progress in the area of human rights, should benefit all people in Cuba" (the Associated Press, 2008). Therefore, the European perspective on the Cuban future is more positive than the American one; this may be the result of the different styles of foreign politics the U.S. And the European Union advocate; while the U.S. advocates hard power, the EU support soft power approaches.
Overall, it can be said that the future of Cuba is rather debatable. On the one hand, there is the internal perspective one must analyze, one which includes Raul's position on the political scene, the problem of democracy, as well as the needed reforms inside the society. On the other hand, the international scene is rather skeptical, while the U.S. does not consider the Raul Castro regime to be capable of change, the EU hopes for that change.
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The Associated Press. "German president urges Raul Castro to seize 'chance for changes' as Cuban leader." The Herald Tribune. 2008. 10 March 2008 http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/02/28/europe/EU-GEN-Germany-Cuba.php
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