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Posted April 09, 2012 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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Rob Sequin | Havana Journal

What a question, right? A sad question to ask but one that needs to be addressed.

In no particular order…

Fidel Castro dies

After many alleged attempts to kill Fidel by the CIA and major intestinal surgery several years ago, no one has expected Fidel to live this long. He will be 86 on August 13. Some speculate that there are (or were) Fidel Castro doubles so Fidel may never actually “die”. He is old and frail but near death? Not in the foreseeable future.

Impact on Cuba

Fidel is not as much of a public figure as he once was but supposedly he is still being consulted on big decisions. His death would make world news and obviously there will be a huge funeral in Cuba for him. Fidel’s death may afford Raul more freedom (odd choice of words) to enact more economic reforms.

Impact on US Cuba relations

Fidel’s death could allow Raul to enact more economic reforms and perhaps even political reforms. Hardliners in Miami and Washington may lighten up a bit and allow the US trade or travel Embargo loosen a little. Anti-Embargo proponents would certainly seize the opportunity to push for sanctions reform. Fidel’s death would probably have more of an impact on US Cuba relations than on Cuba itself.

Raul Castro dies

Raul is clearly in charge of Cuba at this point and he is actively making economic changes. I have been surprised how healthy he appears. He will be 81 in June. I was led to believe that he had a major drinking problem but it does not seem to add years to his age. His wife Vilma died several years ago and he certainly must have a lot more stress as President of Cuba than he has as the Minister of Defense for 50 years. I have to say Raul looks like he will live for many more years.

Impact on Cuba

Raul’s death would have a major and immediate impact on Cuba and could lead to some chaotic political positioning, maybe even a coup. His death would make world news too but in a different way than Fidel’s death. Clearly Raul’s death would have a substantial impact on Cuba.

Impact on US Cuba relations

This is hard to comment on. As with Fidel’s death, anti-Embargo proponents would seize the opportunity to push for normalized relations. Perhaps even an extreme right wing hardliner like Ros-Lehtinen, Diaz-Balart or Marco Rubio would even call for some humanitarian assistance as a show of good faith to what could be a new generation of leaders in Cuba. Then again, I would tend to doubt any goodwill towards Cuba from any of them.

Hugo Chavez dies

When Chavez says out loud and in public “Jesus don’t take me yet”, many have to speculate that Chavez is very near the end of his life. He is at the very least at the end of living a healthy life. He has returned to Cuba for more cancer treatment after speculation that he may have complications due to radiation treatment.

Impact on Cuba

The Chavez government gives Cuba 100,000 barrels of oil every day in exchange for Cuban doctors working in Venezuela. Many expect a chaotic transition in Venezuela and many speculate that such a preference treatment for oil from Venezuela would come to and end. Chavez is a good friend of Cuba in many ways. The Cuban government would certainly feel the impact of a post-Chavez Venezuela. 

Impact on US Cuba relations

I would expect the US Government to assist in many ways to ensure that a post-Chavez Venezuela is a true democracy. This would benefit Venezuela and the US while impacting the Cuban government negatively.

Alan Gross dies

Will Alan Gross die in a Cuban prison? Wow. I hate to imagine if Alan Gross is the first one to die of these four. Why won’t the Castros let Alan Gross go home. Do they want him to die in a Cuban prison?

Convicted Cuban spy Rene Gonzalez gets a furlough from the US Government to leave the US and go to Cuba to visit his dying brother but the Castros (probably more Fidel than Raul) can’t let Alan Gross go home on a “furlough” for a couple weeks too? Mr. Gross’ mother is dying of lung cancer and his daughter has breast cancer and the Castros can’t offer a humanitarian gesture to let Alan Gross go home for even a furlough?

Impact on Cuba

There may be little impact in Cuba if Alan Gross dies there but one could speculate that human rights organizations and dissidents would use the event to call…. scream for better human rights in Cuba.

Impact on US Cuba relations

I can’t even imagine the heat the Castros would take from the right wingers and even moderates like myself. If Alan Gross dies in a Cuban jail the Castros can expect the People to People travel initiative to come under extreme pressure, USAID and Radio Marti to be better funded and perhaps even new sanctions on the Cuban government and pressure on Brazil and Spain to react in some way too.

Yes, Alan Gross was convicted in Cuba for bringing in satellite equipment. Was that stupid of him, yes? Was he guilty yes? Should the US lift the Embargo and stop all USAID programs against Cuba? Yes. Did Alan Gross do anything in Cuba that is illegal in like 95% of other countries around the world? No.

So, why won’t they let Alan Gross go home? Shame on the Castros for holding him. It is VERY clear they do not want the Embargo lifted.


Isn’t interesting that ALL FOUR of these men are being cared for the Cuban healthcare system?

Regardless of who you want to die first, I think it is safe to say that MOST people do not want Alan Gross to be the first one to die.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on April 29, 2012 by Pinar77 with 4 total posts

    Personally I’d like to see three of them make a good confession, receive Holy Communion, and offer free elections in their country…THEN DIE!

    When there is only one political party there is dictatorship.

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