Algeria’s longtime socialist strongman, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, got thrown out of power this week, following 20 years of what even he admits was failed rule. He got thrown out the way they all pretty much do, given the predictable-as-sunrise failure of socialism. He was hardly the worst of them; he just seems to have gotten too old to stay a strongman.
Fine and dandy. What’s cool, though, is that Bouteflika’s exit creates some problems — big problems — for the Castro dictatorship over in Cuba.
Bouteflika was one of their longtime candymen, sending funds to prop up the otherwise unsustainable regime through his employment of the Castroite Cuban doctors program, which brought the regime big cash.
Here’s a Reuters report that ran just a few days before Bouteflika got his boot:
HAVANA (Reuters) — Cuba faces yet another threat to its exports of health services in exchange for oil and money as social unrest roils old friend Algeria, even as a new deal to mitigate declining support from crisis-racked Venezuela kicks in.
The North African country is a major oil and gas producer and has been a friend of Cuba ever since former leader Fidel Castro sent doctors and troops there in the early 1960s as it threw off the yoke of rule by Paris.
Communist-run Cuba has seen its foreign exchange revenues and fuel imports on preferential terms from socialist ally and economic partner Venezuela steadily fall since 2014, leading to stagnation, austerity measures, scattered shortages and late payments to foreign partners.