New Cuban President Raul Castro answered a question posed a few months ago when he took the reins of power from his infirm brother, Fidel. At the time, some observers wondered whether the new Castro would liberalize Cuban policies.
No, Raul Castro said recently. Cubans can expect only the same-old, same-old communism.
In a speech delivered on Revolution Day, Castro pledged that the military will continue to be a priority for Cuba's resources. That was the case under Fidel Castro, because the wily old dictator understood the need to divert Cubans' attention from the domestic failures of communism by claiming they face a terrible, relentless foreign enemy - the United States.
Things will get worse for Cubans before they get better, Raul Castro warned. He blamed rising prices for oil and other commodities - without mentioning that Cuba's communist economy is less able than more progressive ones to cope with such challenges.
Many Cubans saw through Castroism years ago - and left their country to begin new lives in the United States. At some point, we hope, their former countrymen will decide to take back Cuba instead of hoping for change that will not come under any Castro.