I have to admit that Ozzie Guillen was right. Although I'm no fan of Fidel Castro's politics or his economic policies, I am more than willing to admit my (grudging) respect for the man's political savvy and insight. Democratically-elected politicians come and go, we all know that. We also know that dictators come and go, and that the stupid ones go quickly. The cleverer ones tend to last, and Fidel Castro's regime has lasted over 50 years, longer than any other political regime since Cuba's political ties with Spain were forcefully severed in 1898. Fidel Castro didn't stay in power just because he was repressive or just because he was there.
I might think that Cuba would be a better place with at least a mixed economy and open elections, but unlike a lot of the South Florida emigres, I'm perceptive enough to realize that Fidel Castro has set his stamp on Cuba in a more permanent way than anybody since Cuba's independence.
I am out of the Texas political mainstream (After all, I vote Democratic and post on DU), but I've got enough in common with more typical Texas politicians or political kibbitzers. We respect the abilities of leaders and men and women with power, whether we agree with their politics or not. And Fidel Castro has shown considerable political skill and leadership ability.