There has not been a free election in Cuba in half a century, although there have been many elections elsewhere fraught with significance for Cubans. Every U.S. election since 1959. In Latin America, the elections in Chile, Nicaragua and Venezuela, respectively, that brought Allende, Ortega and Chávez to power. Many others, including papal conclaves. And now there is another: yesterday's victory of the Socialists in Spain which returns Zapatero to power. This effectively eliminates the Spanish government as a factor for constructive change in Cuba. We can expect it, however, to continue to exercise its influence in the European parliament as a factor for accommodation with the Castro regime. The recent rescission of all sanctions on Cuba
was the work of Zapatero. We can expect him now to continue to lobby the other European countries on behalf of Castro and against the freedom of the Cuban people.
Of course, Spaniards vote their own interests, not ours. So do Americans. Moreover, their media misinform the Spanish people about Cuba just as the U.S. media mislead Americans. It is so the world over except where Communism is a living memory.
Another election will take place later this year which will have an even greater impact on Cuba's future than yesterday's contest in Spain. If Barack Obama, an even more radical Socialist than Rodríguez Zapatero, wins that election then all hope will be lost for Cuba.
From our perspective, there was little that Cuban exiles could do to affect the elections in Spain short of moving there and claiming Spanish citizenship on the basis of our grandparents' nationality. There is much, however, that Cuban-Americans can do to stop Barack Obama. The first thing is to rally behind John McCain, as most have already done except for pockects of obscurantism in the blogosphere. Let the catastrophe in Spain be a warning to us of the greater catastrophe that faces us. In 2000, Cuban-Americans saved this country from one peril, although we did not exactly do ourselves or Cuba much of a favor. In November 2008, we may be all that stands between freedom and tyranny, not only for Cuba but the United States.