http://havanajournal.com/politics/entry/raul-castro-in-public-talking-about-cuba-after-fidel-castro-dies/

HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Raul Castro in public talking about Cuba after Fidel Castro dies

Posted July 12, 2006 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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AP June 15, 2006

Fidel Castro’s brother said the Communist Party will remain in control of Cuba if there is a leadership change, according to comments published Thursday.

Raul Castro, the island’s defense minister and designated successor of his 79-year-old brother, dismissed claims that Cuba’s political system would change dramatically after his brother is no longer president, saying the party would quickly fill any political vacuum.

“Only the Communist Party—as the institution that brings together the revolutionary vanguard and will always guarantee the unity of Cubans—can be the worthy heir of the trust deposited by the people in their leader,” he said in a speech Wednesday marking a military anniversary.

“Anything more is pure speculation.”

The comments were published Thursday in state-run media.

As first vice president of the Council of State, Cuba’s supreme governing body, Raul Castro, 74, is legally designated to assume his brother’s role as president of the council in the event of “absence, illness or death.” Fidel Castro turns 80 in August.

Raul Castro appears to have the loyalty of the nation’s top generals, giving him control over as many as 50,000 active troops and firepower that includes Soviet-era tanks and MiG fighter planes.

In his speech, he said Cuba’s emphasis on building a strong military has been justified by the constant threat posed by the United States ever since Fidel Castro embraced communism.

“We Cubans are conscious of the fact that without the effort sustained by our people to consolidate the defensive capacity of the country, we would have ceased to exist as an independent nation a long time ago,” he said.

He said the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq proved how far the United States will go with its “imperialist aims of planetary hegemony.”

With that war, he said, “It became obvious that the hawks of the empire were considering the possibility of settling scores with those who represented an obstacle to their dreams of world domination.”

Cuba, he added, is surely near the top of their “target” list.

With this in mind, the Cuban military has been steadily strengthened over the past few years, Raul Castro said. Hundreds of miles of underground tunnels have been built to shelter citizens during an invasion, and endless hours devoted to “dispassionate analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of our likely enemy,” he said.

But Cuba does not see the American people as enemies, he said.

Raul Castro fought alongside his brother in the 1950s during the battle to topple the government of Fulgencio Batista. Other aging revolutionary leaders, including Juan Almeida and Guillermo Garcia, accompanied him at the Wednesday military event.

Member Comments

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On July 15, 2006, Ralph wrote:

He has saying to everyone: Hey, I’‘m the .... man.Castro himself showed thgat
him is not very happy with Raul in power after him,sometimes he has highlighted that Raul is an old man as well(75),but even Castro is under certain
but real duress and he can do nothing at the time around to change that.But
all of that is the dictatorship’s viewpoint.The vast majority of the cuban people
in the island and abroad want transition no succession,there is there too much
washout,to much fiascos and we the human,have a sense of quantity as a
force,and in Castro bussiness enough is enough.Fresh air,Mantel,mesa y
cubiertos nuevos.

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On July 18, 2006, Ralph wrote:

I’m “‘el Partido”  is the message of Ruly.As second in rank in the Nomenklatura
he has entrenched the power comes to him,however Una ‘cosa piensa la paloma y otra muy distinta el cazador”= The prey and the hunter think such a
different thing.We’ll see.just another thing, a brazen liar, a human who lies
through his/her teeth,rarely,but sometimes say truly things,and that is the
case of “cabecita"AlarcoĆ³n when said that Castro is a healthy man,he reachs
its 80 with some good health,in spite of suffering of mild-moderate Parkinson
disease,Ramon his older brother is also affected by parkinson,but is otherwise
healthy in his 84 or 85 year,nobody can say when “la parca"is comming,Just
GOD can,nevertheless the rumour about Castro ‘s demise is baseless,on
Thursday he is expected to arrive to Argentina to be in the mercosur gathering.