1. doctor, heal thyself:

I just heard Bush give one of his officious lectures about democracy with the news that Castro is stepping down. He said that he expects the Cubans to hold free and fair elections — “and I mean free and fair, not those staged elections the Castro brothers try to foist off on the people.”

I laughed when I heard that. Two political brothers staging elections and foisting them off on the people — where have I heard that before?

2. sound advice:

Lesson one: Failure is more common than success in the transition to a democratic market economy. Lesson two: The less internationally integrated, more centralized, and more personalized a former communist regime was, the more traumatic and unsuccessful its transition will be. Lesson three: Dismantling a communist state is far easier and faster than building a functional replacement for it. Lesson four: The brutal, criminal ways of a powerful Communist party with a tight grip on public institutions are usually supplanted by the brutal, criminal ways of powerful private business conglomerates with a tight grip on public institutions. Lesson five: Introducing a market economy without a strong and effective state capable of regulating it gives resourceful entrepreneurs more incentive to emulate Al Capone than Bill Gates.

It is therefore safe to assume that if the Castro regime suddenly implodes, Cuba will end up looking more like Albania than the Bahamas.