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John Wayne's Holster: Cuba Libre?
John Wayne's Holster
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Monday, August 07, 2006

Cuba Libre?

Fidel Castro speaking to his brother Raul

Cuba Libre? Don’t bet on it!

There has been a lot of speculation regarding the fate of Cuban President (Translation: Dictator) Fidel Castro. Fidel recently underwent surgery for (reportedly) gastrointestinal bleeding brought on by stress. Rumors have even begun to spread that Fidel is dead.

Okay? Whatever.

Fidel relinquished the Presidency to his brother Raul who is currently the Cuban defense minister. This is the first time that Fidel has surrendered power since taking control of Cuba in 1959.

Upon hearing the announcement of Fidel’s medical condition, Miami’s displaced Cuban population became ecstatic. They took to the streets in celebration of Fidel’s hopeful demise. Apparently they think that they will be able to return home following the transition to power.

I wish it were so!

Unfortunately, that most likely will not be the case. For starters, it appears that Fidel is not dead, and his abdication is only temporary. Even if he were to take a “dirt nap”, his brother Raul appears to be next in line to take over. And by most accounts, little brother is no choir boy.

Raul has his brutal side. STRATFOR (a well respected private intelligence company) believes Raul will be more repressive than Fidel. He has played a leading role in the suppression of Fidel’s political opponents for almost 50 years! According to NewsMax, Raul supervised the execution of over one hundred police and military personnel of the deposed Batista government. Although that was over 50 years ago, many analysts believe that Raul would continue to govern with an “iron fist”, mostly due to his lack of charisma and suspect political abilities. In support of this, the New Media Journal is reporting that the Cuban military is already reposition units throughout the country to quell any dissention or uprisings that may occur.

On the bright side, Raul is no spring chicken. He is 75 years old. In addition, there is no guarantee he will take over following Fidel’s eventually death. In fact, many believe that if he were not Fidel’s brother, he would not even be in consideration for the next in line. Others who are contending for the ascendancy to the “Presidency” are Vice President Carlos Lage, Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, and National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon. It is not clear (to me) how these leaders would rule, but being that they are all communists, chances are that there would be little change in Cuba’s governmental philosophy. Barring US intervention, of course. But that seems unlikely. The US has lots of other seemingly more important issue on the table right now (Iraq, Iran, Mexican Border, Middle East War, etc). And Cuba currently does not represent much of a serious threat.

So don’t make any plans on getting drunk in Havana any time soon!


At 12:40 AM, Anonymous chumly said...

I believe it is too early to come to any Cuban conclusions. Your post is right on the money.

At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Roy said...

I think the death of Fidel will be a cheerful time indeed. However I agree with you that his death does not equal Cuban liberation. I do think that it will mark the beggining of the end for communism in Cuba.


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