This is a great moment for democracy: Pakistan had an election displacing the military dictator, and Cuba announced the retirement of its military dictator. The Pakistani election has been marred by many things, yet it promises to bring to power multi-party democracy in a Muslim state, which is extremely rare. Cuba's announcement that Fidel Castro is retiring is even further from bringing in multi-party democracy, since he is likely to replaced by his brother.
Still, if the military (theirs and ours) can keep their hands off, I think we will see functioning democracies in both countries within a few years. It would also help if we had normal trade with both countries -- if we had ended our foolish embargo of Cuba 40 years ago, I think we would have brought Cuba into the club of American democracies long ago.
I am hopeful. Building democracy builds centrism.