While Cuban President Fidel Castro laughs, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe offers its help to the USA. Fidel Castro, the President of Cuba, the country at the top of the USA’s black list, has a good laugh at the expense of his bellicose and complicated neighbour across the Straits of Florida. The press in Havana fires headlines such as “soap opera elections” and “banana republic” across the Caribbean Sea like missiles. “Every time the United States intends to judge the elections of other countries, they should remember this lesson of modesty and humility”, said the Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations, Felipe Perez Roque. Havana is ready to send “experienced observers” to the USA to help, if necessary, its arch-enemy to discover which of the two contenders is its president. Meanwhile, the OSCE, the European multinational organization which usually follows elections in third world countries, unstable democracies or countries in a state of war, helping them through their electoral process, states that it, too, is ready to help the USA, in the same way that it helps third-world countries who prove incapable of holding a simple election process. Hrair Balin, the Head of department of the OSCE Democratic Institution and Human Rights, stated: “We are worried about the events in the USA and we are following them very closely”. He added that the OSCE can offer services and experience to help solve the mystery about who is to be the next president of the (supposedly) most powerful country in the world, the self-appointed world policeman, the United States of America. To date, no request for assistance has been forthcoming. As the vote counting process takes on proportions seemingly more fitting for a theatre of the absurd, Palm Beach county in Florida proposes to count the votes (again) by hand…as the Republicans intend to appeal against this decision and also threaten to action a recount of votes in three other states. Maybe the best summary of the situation was given by a US citizen, the owner of a black Mercedes limousine cruising the streets of Palm Beach. Pulling up alongside a pro-Democratic Party rally, the owner shouted: “This is not Africa! It is Florida!” Yes, we see that.

Tim Whitehouse,