[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Cuba's Future with Raul - And Beyond?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Cuba's Future with Raul - And Beyond?

Just finished watching a very interesting A Mano Limpia on Channel 41. The guests were Carlos Alberto Montaner, who needs no introduction, an ex-member of Raul Castro's cabinet in Cuba by the name of Alcibiedes (can't remember his last name), and a doctor specializing in colorectal surgery.

Here are the highlights:

- The show opened with a segment from the Cuban TV show Mesa Redonda in which castro mouthpiece Randy Alonso read a statement allegedly made by fidel, apologizing to his friends and sympathizers for the condition he's in, and that the reason the state of his health couldn't be divulged was because of the "Imperialists" who are out to get Cuba. No real doctor was used to give any kind of statement on fidel's condition, of course. See the second paragraph below for further explanation.

- The ex-Raul Castro cabinet member said that Raul doesn't have the charisma nor the influence of fidel. That's not surprising. But the implication is that the minions below will be less likely to blindly follow him the way they follow fidel. Montaner supported this by stating that Raul would not be able to pull of some kind of economic opening similar to China or Vietnam. He added that many Cubans, including those within the regime, are tired of Venezuelan subsidies and the other humiliations the country has suffered, but have put up with it due to blind loyalty to fidel. The same wouldn't happen with Raul, and those people would be more apt to rebel. Very interesting and logical analysis.

- The doctor stated that the long-term prognosis for fidel isn't good, due to his advanced age and the long recovery time for a surgery such as the one he had. This is, of course, assuming he's still alive which I believe he is. He also said that it was very unlikely that fidel could be coherent enough following surgery to write down the statement that was attributed to him in Mesa Redonda. For him to have actually said it is even less probable due to the likelihood of fidel being connected to tubes making him unable to talk. Bottom line - the statement Randy Alonso made was written by someone within the regime, not fidel.

- Finally, Montaner stated that the fears of Cuban exiles taking over the island in a transitional period are unfounded. The U.S. has no interest in annexing Cuba, for the potential wave of millions of immigrants it would cause. He said that exiles would be a positive force in a rebuilding Cuba and that Cubans on the island would quickly realize that the exiles would be there to help, not to take over.


Blogger Alex said...

That would be Alcibiades Hidalgo, for decades Raul's chief of staff and afterwards Secretary of the Executive Bureau of the Communist Party. Pretty much the highest profile Cuban defector, a guy who knows where all the bodies are buried. So what he says it's probably the best informed insights.

6:58 AM, August 02, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...

That's correct, thanks Gansibele.

7:45 AM, August 02, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He said that exiles would be a positive force in a rebuilding Cuba and that Cubans on the island would quickly realize that the exiles would be there to help, not to take over."

So for the past 4 decades the only thing the exiles have been doing is extending an olive branch? Right...

11:06 AM, August 05, 2006  

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