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Posted March 30, 2006 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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Rob Sequin | Publisher Havana Journal

Of course no one really knows how or when (or even if) Fidel Castro will ever retire but here’s my thoughts on how Fidel Castro might retire and cede the Presidency of Cuba. Fidel Castro will not be the President of Cuba forever, obviously that is biologically impossible. Someday, someone else will be the President of Cuba and this article is my thoughts about what could happen between now and then.

President Castro can announce that a special Presidential election will be held on January 1, 2009 and that his name will not be on the ballot. That date is FIFTY years after “La Revolucion” and FIFTY years of Fidel Castro being President of Cuba. That certainly gives him the right to claim victory over the United States Embargo, the Cuban exiles, the failed USSR communism and anything else he chooses.

He can announce this special election on January 1, 2007. That will be a few months after the 2006 mid-term elections in the United States. He will then know the players in the new Congress by that date and would be able to get a sense of the newly elected and established friends and foes.

I think he can make this announcement of the 2009 Presidential election in Cuba with confidence and ensure a smooth transition for the future of Cuba. He can start with (sorry but my Spanish is not perfect) “Soy viejo pero La Revolución es joven” (I am old but the Revolution is young) and go from there ...  for five hours grin

This plan for elections in Cuba is how Fidel Castro can leave the future of “La Revolucion” to a stable Cuba.

President Castro might hand pick the candidates but at least its a start and with the Cuban Presidential election all over the US news, the old Cuban exiles in Miami won’t be able to force their wishes on the Bush Administration and the media. The two year period between the announcement and the election will keep Cuba and Fidel Castro in the international headlines. He will have all the media attention he wants so he can say everything he ever wanted to say in favor of socialism/communism and against the US, democracy etc. This will also give him, the new Presidential candidates, the people of Cuba, the infrastructure of Cuba and the politicians in the United States time to prepare for the transition of Cuba.

Also, the January 1, 2009 date will be a few months after the 2008 US Presidential election. You can bet that Fidel Castro and the future of Cuba will CERTAINLY become a huge campaign issue in the 2008 election.

I welcome your comments to my thoughts on the future of Fidel Castro’s career and the future of Cuba.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on March 31, 2006 by Ralph

    To the best of my knowledge,Castro has already made his choice for his successor and for the continuity of the socialism,i should i say the castrism
    in the suffered island,but it seems to be that all of that will not consistent with
    the reality,b/c the cuban people want to change totally,“Poner mesa,mantel
    y cubiertos diferentes” the cubans want democracy and more respect for its
    rights as a cubans and as a humans,the worst scenario would be a turmoil,
    with “ajustes de cuentas” and many more innocent people killed,this mayhem
    GOD WILLING will be avoided,of course some days of turmoil,and retaliation are coming and sadly it would be almost impossible to preclude it,however in
    a medium term,Cuba will be in a betterment without losing some good things,
    not all has been bad,from the castrism,the nomenclatura and others top and
    medium ranking personalities of Castro government,of course,will face a hardship for them an their families,but at the end of the day peace and reconciliation will prevail,to relate to your thoughts,it is beyond me to think
    that Castro will handover his power voluntarily,that is out of question in personalities megalomaniac as Castro has,he never give in and never give up
    no before,no now,no later.-

  2. Follow up post #2 added on March 31, 2006 by MiamiCuban

    I think that, first, the people of Cuba are not willing, nor will they be willing, to give up the good things that the revolution has accomplished, i.e., free medical care, education, a virtually crime-free and equitable society, to name a few things.  So I can’t imagine too much changing after Castro, and quite possibly his successors are already co-governing with Castro in order to ensure a smooth transition.  I don’t live in Cuba so obviously I don’t know the facts over what is going on, but I’m just applying common sense here.  When someone leaves a company, a good manager will have the departing employee train the newcomer so that the transition is seamless.  I would think that everything has been well thought out in Cuba.  I would also imagine that whatever changes are made in Cuba will come through the Cuban people themselves and through their government, and this is something that the exiles in Miami and elsewhere will have to accept and respect.

  3. Follow up post #3 added on March 31, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    I know Raul is the chosen one to follow Fidel but there is no reason that Raul cannot simply be a candidate. Let the people decide.

    Also, I am not suggesting that by Castro’s announcement of elections that he and the country give up socialism. Canada and Europe are socialist yet they have elections for Presidents (Prime Ministers) all the time.

    Cuba consulting services

  4. Follow up post #4 added on April 01, 2006 by Ralph

    After reading some comments,I can’t help saying something from the bottom
    of my heart,I read something like certain exclusion of the cubans in the exile,
    and I am at each other’s throats over who thinks like that,it seems blatant
    that the fellows in the land has to have all the respect and support,but the
    discussion,decision over the probablycuban future has to be done for all the
    cubans,without excluding anyone,no foreigners but cubans,in my case I live
    in Europe for more than 8 years,but I have never renounced to my condition
    of cuban citizen,I am a Cuban here or there,then I could never accept to be
    excluded,the fellows in the first,but I and others also in the same purpose,
    and in respect with the “good things’ from the castrism in more than 4 decades,as I said earlier they,re there somethings which deserve to keep on,
    but the first thing in this life,for many people is FREEDOM and sadly It has
    been wiped out by the Castrism,and lived for many years in Cuba, there,sadly,
    if you support the concepts of the government,if you condone the longstanding and rampant corruption,if you repress or help repress the cuban
    who disagrees,in a nutshell,if you are a lamb,ÿou are “a good citizen’if don’t
    you are a “gusano’ ‘vende patria” “mercenario” lacayo del imperialismo,oh my
    goodness me,it is blatant that the first frigt of any human is not allowed in
    Cuba by now.

  5. Follow up post #5 added on April 01, 2006 by Ralph

    TO the well appreciated Publisher:I need to say that Canada now is not under
    a socialist Party and here in Europe. Spain and few other countries are socialist,but there is a difference between socialism and castrism,the first
    is built under democratic rules,the second is by far,a dictatorship.Socialism is
    good,when defending the workers class,It accept and respect,also,the opinion
    and disagreement with others and overall accept the role of the opposition,
    here in France you can see the youngsters and others on the street protesting
    against a new job-low,and Chirac goverrment is not socialist,but before Chirac,
    with miterrand and others who were socialist the riots,the protest,also happened,because both accept the fact that people have the RIGHT to disaagree.Cuba government has not that option in its agenda.

  6. Follow up post #6 added on April 04, 2006 by J. Perez

    I believe your proposal has as much merit as anything else I’ve heard. I also believe that change is the only constant, it’s inevitable. The influence of the Chinese model, with it’s emphasis on trade without abandoning socialist principles, will have a great impact on future Cuban policy. The main problem I see with your idea is that Fidel would have a hard time relinquishing power to anyone other than Raul and I don’t believe Raul can win in a free elction.

  7. Follow up post #7 added on April 04, 2006 by Young Batistite

    Bueno, anyone who Castro picks is going to contunue Fidels mess. If the US allows this new president, then the Cuban Americans should fight for TRUE Cuban freedom. But unfortunatly Castro will toot his own horn by saying that he has indeed overcome the embargo and that would make him appear as a “Hero” in the eyes of the disgusting Cubans still in Cuba who dont have the common sense or the decency to realize that their government is crap!

  8. Follow up post #8 added on April 05, 2006 by djptheman with 2 total posts

    If an enlightened Democratic President is elected in 2008, I think there is the potential for a truly, smooth transition in Cuba and in Cuba-US Relations.  Our policy has to change or else Alpha 66 and others are going to try to steal the Country when Castro passes the country on (there will be no “free” election).  If, however, we can amend our relations with Castro while he is still in power, he might be willing to “give in” to a little democracy.  Otherwise, the huge Ego’s will get in the way.

  9. Follow up post #9 added on April 07, 2006 by Ralph

    It’s too long to call if the democrats back in business into the White House in
    2008 and anyway Cuba cannot wait just like that,in this factual scenery there
    is nothing to be able to convince,not drag,Castro to give up keeping on the
    perpetual socialism in the island,a rare socialism,mixed with stalinism and Castrism,with a longstanding and rampant corruption.No,sadly,I am in the
    view that more freedom for the cuban people could never be in Castro’s Agenda.But somehow the Wind of the Justice will be blowing the dregs and the
    chaffs out of Cuba society and the betterment will come.

  10. Follow up post #10 added on April 16, 2006 by Brad

    Castro retire Dictators almost never retire.Elections while Castro lives will never happen because he or his brother would lose badly.The people average salary is $15 dollars a month life is difficult they surely would vote for change.
    In Cuba a cuban can not purchase a home buy a lot sell his house it is all illegal under Castro’s marxist laws.Permission is need to buy a car or move to another province the government is in total control of your life.
    No free speech no free media no free unions elections are you guys crazy it is a totalitarian regime wake up and smell the coffee.

  11. Follow up post #11 added on May 13, 2006 by Bernie

    Please all you exiles , if you have any empathy for “CUBA” and the Cuban
    people, please do not return to Cuba.  You deserted Cuba years ago,
    stay where you are.  As an example look at what the exiles are doing
    to Iraq.

  12. Follow up post #12 added on May 14, 2006 by Ralph

    FC could never give up being who is for more than 45 years, a boss,a big
    man of the embattled and suffered cuban peope.that’s what a dictator is
    all about,so in my humble wiew that would never be the case.To GOD thanks
    other features will force a change in Cuba for the better but any of them has
    nothing to do with the Catro willingness.-

  13. Follow up post #13 added on May 19, 2006 by Bernie

    Good news to you all “exiles” in Miami and elsewhere.

    F. Castro’s physician just indicated that F. Castro could live to
    be 120 years old.

  14. Follow up post #14 added on May 26, 2006 by Hiram E. Varona

    Has it ocurred to any of you that Fidel castro has never once been elected president? The last president that Cuba had under the 1940 Constitution was Prio Socarras. He was ousted by Batista (who had been president from 1940 till 1944) in an attempt to stop what he considered the “libertanismo” under Prio.

    Eddy Chibas, who was president of the Ortodox Political party commited suicide in the radio, thus prompting Batista to make his fateful move. Fidel castro who attended the University of Havana at the time joined the rebelious students, and eventually assaulted an army headquartes at “Moncada” in the Province of Oriente. he was charged and arrested for the death of some soldiers in that attack, but thanks to the interversion of the Archbishop of Oriente, he was sentence to the Island of Pines Prison.
    Batista granted political amnesty as was requested by former president Grau as one of his conditions he had requested before presenting himself as a candidate against Batista representing the Orthodox Party. Fidel went free (fled to mexico) and Batista supposedly won the election, but no one believed it. Instead Cubans protested openly against Batista demanding that the “1940 Constitution” be reinstaded, and that Prio be allowed to serve out the 6 months that he was never able to finish.

    When castro had taken to the Sierra Maestra Mountains in the mid 1950’s it was the 1940 Constitution that he made speeches about. He spoke of open and free elections. He spoke about the immoral and shameful acts of Batista. He never once uttered the word Communism. Nor did he mention Communism when after 8 years of trying to squash the Cuban public sentiment, Batista finally had to flee the Island. When fidel’s elite little group entered Habana in 1958 he self elected “Errutia” (a former judge) as temporary president. Errutia later resigned when he discovered that there would never be elections.

    Through 1960, and 1961 Fidel castro would be asked repeadedly, “are you a communist?” Time and again he would answer no, or just ignore the question. Those who owned land knew that the new “Agrarian Reform Movement” was nothing more and nothing less than what had been done in Russia when the Bolshevicks took over. In december of 1961 a few months after the Bay of Pigs fiasco (thanks to the Kennedys) he was aked that question but this time the answer was, “look, I’m a communist and a Lenenist and so what?” I suppose the answer was to intimidate those who had asked hi so many times in the past.

    There were never any elections in Cuba. The communist party runs everything, and everything is run by Fidel castro who “is” the communist party. Anyone willing to accept the elections carried out by that organization is either stupid or just plain evil at heart. Socialism, as so many refer to the Cuban state, does not exist in Cuba. An organized rebellion against Fidel has never been succesful because Cuba is an “Island Prison”. If Cuba had borders with another country or was large enough to move around in, then it would be a totally different situation. Another point I might bring out, is that under batista the rebellion that Castro participated in was possible do to the rights that existed then, but simply donot exist under Castro! 

    No one in cuba voted for communism. No one in Cuba asked for over 100,000 of it’s citizens to face firing squads. No one in cuba woke up one day and said, “Gee, won’t it be special if over 750,000 of us just decided one day to get in a raft made out of inner tubes, and slowly die of de-hydration or just plain drown! No one in Cuba, ever thought that it would live in an island prison were you could be charged with over 20 years of prison for owning a fax machine, attended a prayer meeting, saying something against Fidel, eating something that was not in it’s ration book, listen to a radio broadcast from the U.S, go to a hotel that only tourists would be allowed to stay in, no one in cuba ever imagined back in 1958 that deseases that were unheard of then in Cuba, would be rampant in the year 2003. No one in cuba in 1958 ever expected to still be bearing the cross of a communist state long after communism ceased to exist in Europe! No one in cuba in 1958 ever thjought that it’s neighbors in Latin America would turn their backs on their Cuban neighbors and retun many of them to that hideous island prison just to curry favor with that murderous despot. Nor did we ever, ever expect to sit by while the UN ignoring the pleas of countries like Chekoslovakia (former communist nation) on the inhuman conditions existing for Cuban citizens, allows that very despot a seat in the Human Rights Council!

    Before any of you Cubanologists, give any opinions on Cuba, you have better learn some actual history, before you pontificate stupidities that have no bearing on realities. You should start by looking at the United Nations statistics on Cuba from the 1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s, and finally the 1950’s. Only then can you answer the question, “Is communism in Cuba’s future?”

    And to “Bernie”, Fidel castro may not live to 120 years of age, but he doesn’t have to. He has damaged Cuba economically, socially, intellectually, and last and not least phycologicly and morally for almost 300 years worth of pain. My heart aches for the sad condition of my fellow countrymen, and for that beautiful and graceful island.

  15. Follow up post #15 added on May 26, 2006 by Bernie

    All you “exiles”  cry, cry, and cry, you had your chance when you lived in Cuba and blew it,” no balls” you couldn’t stay and fight for what you beleived in, you ran away with your money, you were not happy in Cuba and wherever your living now, your not happy.  I have never been to Cuba but if I lived there I would
    fight you exiles tooth and nail to prevent you from coming from another country and try to rule Cuba.  Also if you are so sad for your fellow countrymen, send
    them money, they don’t want you to return.  Exiles returning to their country
    such as Iraq and Afghanistan is a prime example of what exiles can do for a country.

  16. Follow up post #16 added on May 29, 2006 by Ralph

    Firstly an homage to Urrutia Lléo,he was just an honest man.Secondly all
    my kudos for you Mr. Hiram,your statements are factual,your written is
    real.And You Mr.B ernie,I and my whole family since the very ages have been endowed with courage and wisdom,we have “guts"as many of the exiles have.
    SHut up and don’t give advises without asking for them,the exiles,have the
    right to comeback when THE MOMENT COMES,and I tell you the Truht,I am not
    seeking FC goes to the beyond,no that would be easy,the easiest one.

  17. Follow up post #17 added on May 30, 2006 by MiamiCuban

    To Varona:  You say 100,000 people were sent to the firing squad?  I’ve never heard of this many, seems like an outrageous number.  May I ask what your sources are?

  18. Follow up post #18 added on June 12, 2006 by Benjamin Treuhaft

    About Rob’s elections of 2009: sounds like a strategy worthy of Fidel Castro, confounding to the US government, infuriating to the contras en exile.  As for the Cubans in Cuba, given a bit of relaxation of the Stalinist restrictions on free speech, they might win something too.  That would be a precondition to any fair election in Cuba - a longshot, but something I always wanted to see there.  I always wondered why Fidel, given his long mutual love affair with the Cuban people, continues to be afraid to communicate directly with them via free press, freedom of assembly, freedom to strike. 
        I wonder, would Ricardo Alarcon have a shot?

  19. Follow up post #19 added on June 16, 2006 by Ralph

    Well,as I said in my earlier comments,Raul Castrono matter what would be
    the “successor’ of his elder brother,a family matter hey!; on wednesday he
    himself sent a message to the intelligence apparatus and the so called
    “‘new talibanes”( Perez Roque,Hassam,) and to Alarcón,Lage,etc,they have
    the support of the vast majority of cuban intelligence member,but Ruly has
    the support of the vast majority of the medium and top rank army commander, he has the weapons,tanks,planes,So the transition could be
    at worst a battle between the two major group of power of the castrism,But
    don’t forget that History sometimes lampoons the bastard dreams of the tyrans.

  20. Follow up post #20 added on June 18, 2006 by Ralph

    The comunist party will be the only genuine heir of the “big guy’ has said
      Raul to his generals,openly,he blows the face of Alarcones,Perezez Roquezes,Lageses and others,b/c the comunist party is 100% on give all
    the Fidel Powers to Raul,If the moment comes,b/c could be ruly the first to
    leave,or other no predictable fact could bring about,you never know.But what is clear for everybody is the generals are not on holidays,they are always on
    business,no matter Ramonet in his book wants to tell us.

  21. Follow up post #21 added on June 29, 2006 by Louis

    Bernie—You’re an asshole.  You’re so sorely misinformed, as are many, on Cuba, its history, its realities, and the exile community.  If it wasn’t for the exiles, the Cuban people would be starving worse than they are now.  Their remittances to family account for a huge part of the Cuban economy and fidel knows this.  That’s why he makes dollar holding Cubans exchange them at 80% so that he can make money off his people.  As Mr. Varona stated, the Cuban people didn’t elect fidel castro.  Not only that, and here is something that always astounds people, the Cuban Robolution was organized and funded by Cuba’s thriving middle class.  They hated Batista and wanted to see him gone.  fidel proclaimed himself a democrat who would re-institute the Constitution of 1940—the most progressive in Latin America.  Instead, they were betrayed.  This was not a homegrown communist peasant revolution as it is popularly romanticized.  People like you who are so firm in their ideology rarely let facts get in the way of your worldview.  But, if you take anything away from this exchange, let it be this: The rafts only go one way.

  22. Follow up post #22 added on June 29, 2006 by Louis

    One last thing.  There was a rebellion in Cuba.  In the 1960’s there was a rebellion in the Escambray Mountains.  Thousands died—many were killed by flamethrowers used by fidel’s armies.  Before you begin shaming the Cuban people for not rising up and questioning their “balls”, I suggest that you remember how rare rebellion is in a totalitarian society.  It is virtually impossible for those with nothing to raise funds, communicate, not to mention still eat, in a communist state.  Cuba, don’t ever forget, is a PRISON whose warden doesn’t care about the inmates.  Also, forget the lie about free education and medical care.  In Cuba education = indoctrination.  Quality medical care is for foreigners so that the State can rake in hard currency.  The Cuban people get shafted.  Guess who sends the most medicine to Cubans?  The reviled and crazy exiles.  Guess who supplies the most food to Cuba?  The evil American imperialists.  Get your facts straight before you begin to pontificate—No hables de lo que no sabes come mierda.

  23. Follow up post #23 added on June 30, 2006 by MiamiCuban

    Louis:  Whatever the Cuban economy “rakes in” in the form of cash, is either directly or indirectly filtered back to the Cuban people in many ways.  How else can hospitals and schools be built, roads constructed (and many were constructed AFTER the revolution).  Granted, many things went wrong, not all of which are the fault of the embargo, but you need to give credit where credit is due, because in spite of economic sanctions, the government has managed to give healthcare access to all its citizens, virtually wipe out illiteracy, crime, etc., and put thousands through medical school and other professional schools, and at no charge.  The money has to come from somewhere, and the more we try to stop the flow of money to Cuba by way of travel bans, the more we’re likely to see the government seek other ways to fill that gap.  It’s a vicious cycle, and one that will only be broken when we lift the embargo.

  24. Follow up post #24 added on July 01, 2006 by Ralph

    Or after blowing away the dregs and the chaffs for good.

  25. Follow up post #25 added on July 23, 2006 by H Collum

    All you cubans writing here, fight amongst yourselves and are quite a spectacle. A shameful spectacle.

    As a friend of mine said once a couple of years ago: If nobody does the right thing and aprehends Castro or shoots him, then the cuban nation is forfeit; it has no more right or reason to exist as an independent country, than key west has the right to statehood.
    To qualify as a nation it is never enough that 2% of the cuban population actually has a brain, or that is “hard-working” or creative, entreprenurial and scientific skills etc etc.

    What is missing in Cuba is similar to what is missing here in the US: MEN !! MEN (or women) of vision, valor and conviction.
    ...Which brings me to the point of why are we now on the threshold of WWIII, and why that eternally shameful vote in the house and senate last week on supporting the bandit state of Israel ocurred.
    Why is it we have a piece of white trash for president -in Clinton- and now a dislexic moron in Bushy.
    We are going to end up just like communist Cuba, for men of vision, valor and conviction are too busy paying attention to the sports on TV, or are completely hypnotized in the vast fog of lies which covers our once great nation.

  26. Follow up post #26 added on July 23, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    H Collum,

    So, what are you saying? Cuba sucks and the US sucks? How much experience with Cuba do you possess?

    And, you don’t like Clinton or Bush?

    Do you have anything constructive to add to the future of Cuba debate?

    Cuba consulting services

  27. Follow up post #27 added on July 31, 2006 by Angela

    Yes, Castro has relinquished his power to his brother.

  28. Follow up post #28 added on July 31, 2006 by Geoffrey Gonzalez

    Hello Rob,

    The “Fidel Exit Plan” just got a curve ball today. Seems as though the media is broadcasting Fidel’s recent intestinal illness and has handed off his control of Cuba to his 75 year old brother Raul Castro.

    This handing of the batan es expected to last two months.

  29. Follow up post #29 added on August 01, 2006 by Cookie

    Having spent time with many Cuban - IN Cuba, I can see that they will fight to thier last drop of blood to keep Cuba the way it is. No crime, FREE excellent health care et al. People are happy - no ‘I want the latest xx, but dont have the money for it - I will have to steal for it’ et al. No gun crime!!! No wonder the US hates them - they prove the American way of life is all wrong!
    There is no greed, no jelosly, no hate - isnt that what a christian country should be like? Not a socialist country like Cuba!
    No commercial adverts on the must have car/gun/food/clothes et al. - You dont need that crap to be happy, you are already happy!! Material things dont make you happy anyway!
    I personally send my good wishes to all the Cubans in this time of worrey for their leader.
    I so hope that Cuba will not become the yanky playground that it once was. Leave Cuba to be what it wants to be FFS!

  30. Follow up post #30 added on August 03, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    This post has been “sticky” for several months meaning that it showed up at the top of the Havana Journal.

    In light of Castro’s recent health issues, I no longer feel that my scenario is plausible.

    So, it is still located at the Havana Journal with the same URL but will no longer show up at the top of the home page.

    Thank you for all your comments.

    I started a Castro death pool with $100 prizes at http://CastroWatch.com . Let me know what you think.

    Cuba consulting services

  31. Follow up post #31 added on August 04, 2006 by Cookie

    Castro death pool?
    How sick are you??

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