http://havanajournal.com/politics/entry/whats-next-for-fidel-castro-raul-castro-and-cuba/

HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

What’s next for Fidel Castro, Raul Castro and Cuba?

Posted May 01, 2007 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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So, Fidel Castro could not show his people the respect and thanks they deserve at today’s May Day celebration. Unless Fidel is gravely ill, I don’t think he should be forgiven for not making an appearance or AT LEAST addressing the Cuban people in a written letter.

He wrote a letter last night about Posada and the US, a theme that is emerging with Fidel…meaningless letter writing on international issues. Either Fidel is not up to speed on Cuban politics or is being guided to stay out of Cuban politics.

Either way, since Fidel did not make an appearance today, he is dead politically. I am sure of that now. After today the Cuban people are not going to wait around too much longer for Fidel. I would guess that TODAY WAS THE DAY in their minds and if Fidel can’t show up for this event nine months after his surgery, he’s not coming back.

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Now, what about Raul?

I think Fidel has to die or be out of the picture for several more months before Raul can make any changes in Cuba. For the sake of this post, I will assume little changes between now and May 20 (Independence Day), August 13 (Fidel’s Birthday) and this Fall. If things pretty much stay the same come September, I see Raul starting to make major changes and perhaps opening up the economy and/or releasing political prisoners and/or being proactive with engaging the US.

So, I don’t expect too much to happen until Fidel dies or is out of the picture for several more months. Things happen slowly in Cuba but, for some reason, I get a sense that something bigger than Fidel’s death could happen. Could be Raul’s death. Could be an uprising that is publically crushed bringing international pressure on Raul and they Raul makes several bad decisions that take him out of office. Funny thing is NO ONE KNOWS what’s going to be the catalyst of change in Cuba. The exiles don’t know. Bush doesn’t know. The Cuban people don’t know.

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What’s next for Fidel? Nothing. More of the same, letter writing, radio talks with Chavez, photo op meetings with foreign dignitaries.

What’s next for Raul? He waits. He is probably planning for the future without Fidel but I don’t think he can act on any plans until September.

What’s next for Cuba? Same shit different day unfortunately.

If Fidel or Raul dies before September, all bets are off.

Member Comments

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On May 01, 2007, Cuban American wrote:

What makes you so sure that Raul will make these moves to open the economy and release political prisoners?  If he stays in power I think Cuba will continue to operate as it does, with no changes, especially when it comes to freedom.  Since he has taken power, there has been even more crack downs on dissendents.  I don’t see any change in Cuba without some kind of uprising… whether it be by the people or by certain high up politicians.

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On May 02, 2007, MapleRum wrote:

I agree with Cuban American with regards to Raul and what it takes. Even when Fidel was on top, Raul controled the army and the dollar stores. Later on we will find out about Raul’s millions in Switzerland not Fidel’s. I really don’t like speaking for my friends in Cuba, but they dream of a complete change. It is my opinion that that the people are showing respect to their leader of almost 50 years even though respect is not returned. Meanwhile, Raul still flies around in his helicopter with his soap opera boyfriend from safe house to safe house.

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On May 02, 2007, publisher wrote:

I’m not sure that Raul will make changes. Maybe just wishful thinking I guess. It’s hard to say what he’ll do because I think that he really can’t do much with Fidel still around.

Don’t get me wrong, I hope for complete change too. It can’t get any worse in Cuba, can it?

Now, on the subject of Raul’s “soap opera boyfriend”. I have heard rumors.

Is Raul Castro gay? He has been married for 50 years and has four kids.

Reply by email (in footer) if you don’t want to reply here.

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On May 02, 2007, Pete Chavez wrote:

The subject on Raul’s sexuality has been gossiped upon for as long as I can remember.  Who really knows.  He is also known as “La China” because he seemingly has a slight asian appearance but the peculiar part of it is that the nickname is in the feminine.

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On May 03, 2007, MapleRum wrote:

About Raul being gay, that is a state secret. All I know is that whenever the helecopter flies over Holguin for it to get to Raul’s secret beach hideaway, my friends start snickering. They joke that Cuba will have the world’s first gay dictator. My reply is there must have been one before in the world. As far as the soap opera dude, is that he is around Raul an awful lot. What goes on is anyone’s guess, just as much as which house Raul or Fidel sleep in every night. Probably the closest you can get as a confirmation is from the gay community where the issue is just considered old news.

As for Raul’s kids, they want for nothing unlike Fidel’s kids. I have come across some package vacation people returning from Varadero that say Raul’s kids have some wicked parties at the Varadero family compound. Dad was of course not there.

I am starting to figure out what is going on in Cuba with tidbits of information and the things that are not happening. The publisher is referring to the lack of respect Fidel is showing by not directly communicating with his people including the May Day parade. I really think that he is being controlled at this point because the Fidel of old would be foaming at the mouth to rally his people, sick or not. He has lived for adulation and afirmation that he is correct. He is healthy enough to do a video or to sit and watch a parade. The powers that be never thought that he would pull through his latest medical problems.

We all must understand at this point that when Fidel dies, the system will collapse. You can say why are you so sure? The people of Cuba tolerated the awful conditions for one main reason, respect for the man, respect for Fidel. We may not understand why nor agree with it, but the man was the glue for a faulty system. Raul has little to no respect.

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On May 03, 2007, publisher wrote:

Thanks for your comments on Raul Castro’s rumored gay activities and we’ll leave it that since the rest is just speculation.

Your comments about Fidel Castro’s health and abilities are very interesting.

So, maybe Raul likes things just the way they are so he doesn’t have to be the only President of Cuba?

When Fidel dies the flood gates open and Raul is not competent or able to run the country?

Interesting about Raul’s kids. Maybe you were the one who pointed out the difference between Raul’s kids and Fidel’s kids? Anyway, if you ever hear that they have left the country, that might be a sign that Fidel Castro has died and Raul knows that he’ll have to leave the country soon?

Great input on “What’s next for Cuba”. Keep it coming.

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On May 03, 2007, Maplerum wrote:

Apart from seeing Raul’s kids leaving the country, an earlier indication that it is about to crumble will be in the local CDRs (Committee for the Defense of the Revolution). Each C.D.R. has a president, V.P., an Idealist and a Vigilante and they are the local control. People that are in and out of the country should keep an eye on the changing attitude. When the fear of the local CDR diminishes it will indicate the system is in trouble. A true indication of local discontent will be revenge against the CDR committee members. If it all tumbles, all of us in the world should be very gentle with the people of Cuba because they will be shell shocked. The one thing for certain is that within the confines of each Cuban home right now, debates are raging about what exactly is going on especially after the May Day parade no show. It will take a lot of bravery for everyone to take the debate to the street.

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On May 04, 2007, publisher wrote:

Maplerum,

Thanks for your insight. Your comment “take the debate to the street” sounds like a great step. Peaceful yet powerful.

I do hope the Cuban people are left alone to grieve, plan, celebrate, organize, leave the country or whatever.

Sadly though I think Fidel Castro is the dam keeping international financial and political interests out. When “the dam” breaks I think a tsunami will flood the island and no one will ever be the same.

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On May 08, 2007, abh wrote:

I have to say again that I am not convinced that “the system will collapse” when Fidel dies.  He turned over power 9 months ago and there have been no major problems.  We really must make sure we are not mimicking the calls from the right-wing exile community for revolt when we discuss this issue.

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On May 09, 2007, publisher wrote:

Here’s an article from the Economist with some insight into the future of the Cuban government.

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On May 09, 2007, abh wrote:

I found this to be very informative.  I thought the following passage was especially interesting in light of a previous discussion on these boards regarding the constitution.

“Both his Granma articles and a brief official statement that a working group was being formed to propose constitutional changes might indicate steps towards the establishment of a new post-presidential function”

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On June 25, 2007, Bri wrote:

Well. I agree this artical i informative. But evan if Fidel is getting healthier. What are the chances that he is going to live for a long amount of time. He will still have medical problems and he is 81 yrs. old.  And at this link:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raúl_Castro  is says that His little brother Raul is suspected to have Ill heath because of his alcoholism.

But the main question should be after Raul dies who will be the new sucessesor. Hopefully there will be an uprising in cuba.  But that is easier said than done.