New political appointments in Cuba and the retirement of a dictator through the lens of history

Naturally, the news feeds were abuzz this morning breathlessly reporting on Cuban dictator Raul Castro’s announcement that he would retire at the end of his latest five year term as dictator of the island. Of course, none of the mainstream news agencies bothered to examine this supposed bombshell announcement through the lens of recent Cuban history, which is replete with examples of the Castro dictatorship saying one thing and doing another.

Thankfully, while the Castro brothers have proven themselves to be quite adept at getting news agencies to disseminate their propaganda, as far as I know, they have no such power over mother nature. It is quite possible Raul Castro may retire in five years. But this will not be by choice, but for biological reasons.

Via the New York Times:

Raúl Castro Says His New 5-Year Term as Cuba’s President Will Be His Last

MEXICO CITY — President Raúl Castro of Cuba announced Sunday that the five-year term he has just begun will be his last, giving the Castro era an official expiration date of 2018.

The race to succeed Mr. Castro, who is 81, now has a front-runner: Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, 52, an electrical engineer and former minister of higher education, whom Mr. Castro selected as his top vice president on Sunday, making him first in the line of succession.

“It represents a definitive step in the configuration of the future leadership of the nation,” Mr. Castro told lawmakers at a conference of legislative leaders in Havana on Sunday. He added that Cuba is at a moment of “historic transcendence.”

Continue reading HERE.

Also, much is being made about Castro’s assumed “second in command,” Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, a relatively young loyal operative of the Castro dictatorship.

Juan Tamayo in the Miami Herald:

Miguel Diaz-Canel, Cuba’s new No. 2, respected as smart and personable


Newly appointed Cuba's Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel, left, leaves after participating in the closure session of the National Assembly in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2012. Cuba's President Raul Castro accepted a new five-year term that will be, he said, his last as Cuba's president and tapped rising star Diaz-Canel, 52, as vice-president and first in the line of succession.

Miguel Diaz-Canel, who stands to become Cuba’s first post-Castro ruler, is respected as a smart manager and personable communicator who rode a bike on his rounds when he headed the Communist Party in the province of Villa Clara.

Diaz-Canel toed the revolutionary line and was “something of an ideologue, but he was smart and you could talk to him,” said one of two Cuban journalists in Miami who knew the now 52-year-old in the 1990s and early 2000s.

“He won the respect of the people in the province” of Villa Clara, said the other. Both asked for anonymity because of their current jobs.

Diaz-Canel was selected Sunday as first vice president of the Council of State, making him No.?2 in the government headed by Raúl Castro, who announced at the same time that he would leave power in 2018.

Cuban officials singled out as possible generational successors to the Castros have a history of getting fired — witness former Foreign Ministers Roberto Robaina and Felipe Perez Roque and former Vice President Carlos Lage.

Continue reading HERE.

But as Tamayo correctly points out, using the lens of history, much was made about Carlos Lage, Felipe Perez Roque, and Roberto Robaina, who were billed as the young revolutionaries who would take the Castro dictatorship into the 21st century. All of them, without exception, were unceremoniously removed from their positions and forced into “retirement.”

In other words, all of these appointments and “elections” are simply theatrics. Much ado about nothing.



7 thoughts on “New political appointments in Cuba and the retirement of a dictator through the lens of history

  1. It’s really telling how the [otherwise crackerjack] MSM misses the horrendous and obvious fact that for an 81 year old to say that he will retire in five years is, aside from the height of sarcasm, next to saying that he will stay in power until he dies. raul is not in the best of health, reportedly he has cirrhous of the liver, he’s allegedly an alcholic and he has other health-related problems. Like his older brother who has one foot in the grave, it’s unlikely that raul will live to a ripe old age. Basically, what raul has just told everyone is that he will rule until he dies. And, the NYT’s consider this news. I guess this is yet another one of his reforms. Cubans can now visit hotels they can’t afford to stay in, they can buy computers that they can’t afford, they can buy crockpots to make rice, and now they can wait for five years for raul to retire. Earth shattering! PERESTROIKA comes to mind!

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