Castro

Commentary by Pete du Pont

Host intro: A picture's supposed to be worth a thousand words. Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis just saw one that speaks volumes.

It shows Fidel Castro walking with Pope John Paul II, saying something to him in private. Maybe he's extending the invitation for the pope to visit Cuba, which he'll do next year.

Maybe it's, "forgive me father, for I have sinned."

Forgive me, but I choose to read a lot into that photo.

Castro's getting old. He's looking back at the wreckage he's made of his country, the people he's imprisoned or shot, the economy he's destroyed, the way he turned the Cuban military into the Soviet Union's Hessians, the thousands he drove from their native country's shores. And maybe he's thinking about what's waiting for him.

Maybe he's looking for absolution for himself and his country. And I hope he gets it, but not before he does his penance: quit. Schedule democratic elections. Outlaw the Communist party. Invite expatriates back from the U.S. privatize all nationalized industries. Then, leave the country, go into seclusion, and pray for forgiveness.

It's a better deal than most of his opponents got. But if he can go out using what's left of his reputation at home doing one decent thing for his country, it's a deal worth making.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA, we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you tomorrow.

Host outro: Tomorrow, even some conservatives are leery of a balanced budget amendment. Pete du Pont says the only thing worse is not having one.