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Posted March 13, 2005 by mattlawrence in Castro's Cuba

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A defiant Cuban Defense Minister Raul Castro declared that Cubans will form a ‘monolithic block’ against efforts to bring U.S.-style political and social change to Cuba.

Posted on Sun, Mar. 13, 2005

CUBA


BY VANESSA ARRINGTON

Associated Press

HAVANA - Demonstrating communist Cuba’s defiance of societal divisions as it takes back state control, Defense Minister Raul Castro said in remarks published Saturday that Cubans form a ‘‘monolithic block’’ that will resist attempts to push the island toward political and economic change.

Castro, who is the designated successor to his brother, President Fidel Castro, spoke Friday at a ceremony in eastern Cuba to pay homage to combatants of Frank Pais Eastern Front II who died in the Cuban revolution.

‘In these times of growing threats and aggressive charlatanry about `transitions’ and the ‘restoration of capitalism,’ it is opportune to remind those staying up all night [plotting] that the people, the army, and the party form an invincible monolithic block,’’ Castro said in remarks published in Granma, the Communist Party’s daily newspaper.

That unity is what has protected the island from decades of aggressions by the United States, ‘‘the mightiest imperialist power,’’ he said.

‘‘Our people have shown they know how to confront and defeat powerful enemies,’’ he added.

The United States has a long-standing trade embargo against Cuba that has been repeatedly tightened by the administration of President Bush in attempts to squeeze the island’s economy and push out Fidel Castro.

Washington also has a blueprint that outlines the role the United States could play in a transitional, post-Castro Cuba. Dissidents on the island are working on projects as well to prompt political and economic change on the island.

The defense minister defended Cuba’s current system and said there was no reason for change. ‘‘Our socialism is infinitely more democratic, just, equitable, humane and supportive than the fierce imperialism planted in the brutal and scrambled North, more dangerous now than ever,’’ Castro said.

He accused the Bush administration of using money, war and falsehoods in a quest to ``take possession of the world.’‘

Castro’s remarks come as Cuba is reasserting state control over the nation’s economy with moves including last fall’s elimination of the U.S. dollar from circulation and tighter limits on private sector workers.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on March 13, 2005 by GregoryHavana with 196 total posts

    As a side comment, it can be noted that many people who are not familiar with Cuban politics mistakenly assume that Raul Castro is second-in-command simply because he is Fidel’ brother. To the contrary, Raul is highly intelligent, a skillful organizer, and has a key position in the Cuban government due to his central role in the revolutionary struggle of the late 1950’. He does not have the charisma of his brother, but he is also a formidable enemy of imperialistic U.S. foreign policy.


  2. Follow up post #2 added on March 14, 2005 by Cubana with 282 total posts

    Yeah right


  3. Follow up post #3 added on March 14, 2005 by GregoryHavana with 196 total posts

    Cubana… Is that a signal of agreement or a sarcastic expression of disagreement? If it is the later, please offer your reasoning.


  4. Follow up post #4 added on March 14, 2005 by Cubana with 282 total posts

    The only reason that Raul Castro has any power in Cuba is because his brother is in charge. Neither of the Castro brothers have ever been democratically elected as the Cuban Communist Party is the only legal political party. Raul may well be “highly intelligent and a skillful organizer” but what he does not have is democratic legitimacy.


  5. Follow up post #5 added on March 14, 2005 by GregoryHavana with 196 total posts

    Cubana… You are confusing two fundamentally different things. It may be argued by some that Raul does not have democratic legitimacy, but that does NOT mean that he has power due to nepotism (ie. being the brother of Fidel). All I was saying is that Raul has a key position in the Cuban power structure because of his own ability, regardless whether this power has democratic legitimacy or not. You are confusing two different arguments.


  6. Follow up post #6 added on March 14, 2005 by Cubana with 282 total posts

    Err.. no I’m not (confusing two fundamentally different things).

    Fact: The Cuban Ministry of Interior is the principal instrument of state security and control. Officers of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, which are led by Fidel Castro’ brother, Raul Castro, occupy the majority of key positions in the Ministry of Interior. Fidel Castro is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. Sounds like nepotism to me!

    Neither Fidel nor Raul Castro would ever be elected if Cuba held free and democratic elections.


  7. Follow up post #7 added on March 14, 2005 by GregoryHavana with 196 total posts

    Cubana…. I can see that you have difficulty in objectively analyzing an argument independently of your subjective view of things. But then, many Cuban-Americans have the same problem. Whether Fidel or Raul (or George Bush) could win a multiparty election is another issue. Your argument above is a non-sequitur.


  8. Follow up post #8 added on March 15, 2005 by Cubana with 282 total posts

    Again my argument is not a non-sequitur. Fidel Castro appoints who he wants in his government. He obviously wants his brother as second in command. This only enforces my argument that if Fidel Castro was not the Cuban dictator his brother would be nowhere near power.

    PS I am NOT Cuban-American (or even Cuban).


  9. Follow up post #9 added on March 15, 2005 by GregoryHavana with 196 total posts

    Cubana…
    Well, then let’ agree to disagree on this one. Anyone who has read our exchange can make their own mind on whether Raul is a product of nepotism or not. However, if Fidel was motivated by nepotism, I wonder why is older brother, Ramon, does not have a senior position in the government?
    p.s. And just for curiosity, if you are not Cuban, why do you call yourself “cubana”?


  10. Follow up post #10 added on March 15, 2005 by Cubana with 282 total posts

    In honour of my wife, who is!!


  11. Follow up post #11 added on March 15, 2005 by GregoryHavana with 196 total posts

    I assume you have been to Cuba?


  12. Follow up post #12 added on March 16, 2005 by Cubana with 282 total posts

    A total of 17 times since December 1997.


  13. Follow up post #13 added on March 16, 2005 by GregoryHavana with 196 total posts

    I congratulate you for coming to Cuba. I have chosen to live here, my wife also being Cuban. But in here case, she believes in the Revolution and does not want to leave her country. I hope you don’t think everyone on the island thinks like the exiles.


  14. Follow up post #14 added on March 16, 2005 by Cubana with 282 total posts

    Thanks for that. I would also like to live there at some stage but not under the current regime.


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