MSNBC HOST CONTESSA BREWER: Is there an expectation among the crowd there, a sense that Castro will return to power at some point?Yes, if only that darn embargo were lifted, communism could work its wonders. True, Cuba is already free to trade with all the 191 other countries in the world. But it's the U.S. embargo alone that is preventing Cuba from becoming a miracle of economic expansion. I have no doubt that if the embargo were lifted, in no time you would see standards of living rivaling those of, say, Bulgaria circa 1959. Oh, and I suppose some of you kill-joys are going to point out that, beyond the embargo, the Cuban people also suffer from an oppressive totalitarian government that robs them of political and human rights. Yeah, well, altogether now: but they have free health care!
NBC CORRESPONDENT ANDREA MITCHELL: Officials are pointing out, and it's certainly true from my visits here that the government runs, it's business as usual, that they have managed this succession rather well. Raul Castro is here today, he and other leaders are very much in charge. There have been no major problems, other than the continuing economic difficulties that of course this country faces because of the U.S. embargo, the economic embargo.
Thanks for some solid reporting, Andrea, on the sinister influence that is the United States. Viva Fidel! Viva la Revolucion! Abajo los imperialistas!
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