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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Comments on the death and funeral of Fidel Castro and beyond

Posted August 25, 2007 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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How do you think the Cuban government will announce the death of Fidel Castro?

Will the Cuban people get the news first or will Miami get the news first?

Who will break the story? The main stream US media, foreign media, Granma or a blog site?

Will there be a big funeral for Fidel and/or will he tour the country so all Cubans can see his body?

Will he be cremated?

Can Raul manage the day of and after the announcement?

Can Raul govern in the days following the announcement and funeral?

Can Raul stay in power or will there be a military coop?

You don’t need to answer each question but I am very curious to read your thoughts.

Member Comments

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On August 25, 2007, J. Perez wrote:

This is what I believe will happen in response to your questions.

The Cuban government will make the announcement once all the I’s have been dotted and all the T’s have been crossed.

It is obvious that all the rumors out of Miami are far from reliable.

There will be a state funeral for Fidel, pretty elaborate I would say and well attended by foreign dignataries.

I do not believe he will be cremated.

Raul will manage the announcement and the days after.

Raul will govern as he has done for the last year.

There will not be any military coup.

Once again I will say that I don’t see any desire in the Cuban people for violent demonstrations or any violence at all for that matter. I do see a desire for reforms, particulary in the economic sector and as long as these are carried out by the new leadership, things will stay calm. On the other hand if reforms are not carried out expidiently, then all bets are off.

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On August 25, 2007, publisher wrote:

A good summary. Thanks.

With regards to the the preparedness of the Cuban government, they have had at least one full year to plan for the worst. I would think they could announce the death quickly since they have seen it coming.

So, if Fidel is dead, what’s taking them so long to announce it?

I am still unsure of Raul’s abilities but the safe bet would probably be on the same old same old with maybe a short “honeymoon” period allowing him to make changes that he cannot do while Fidel is alive.

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On August 25, 2007, J. Perez wrote:

A short “honeymoon” period is a good bet. It is not inconceivable that there could be a power struggle at the top but I would guess it may be more over ideology, not a violent one deteriorating into a military coup. Raul has taken good care of the army for the past 45 years and I believe it would stay loyal to him.

There are certain key players such as Lage, Perez Roque, Alarcon, Valdez and others, the key for Raul would be to keep them all on his side and then he can govern with a free hand as far as whatever reforms he wants to implement.

If the right economic reforms are implemented I could see Cuba coming out of (most) its economic trouble within 5 to 10 years in spite of the continuation of a U.S. embargo.

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On August 25, 2007, publisher wrote:

5 to 10 years! I don’t think anyone on or off the island has any plans to wait that long for economic or political freedoms.

Communism is dead except for China and Cuba is not China.

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On August 25, 2007, J. Perez wrote:

What I meant was that the effect of the reforms could take Cuba out of most of its economic troubles in 5 to 10 years, not that it would take that long for them to be implemented.

Reforms are will have to happen shortly after Fidel is gone, as we agreed Raul’s honeymoon could be short-lived.

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On August 27, 2007, kat wrote:

Even Though if Fidel dies and Raul stays in power or there is a military coop, or whatever, nothing is going to change in Cuba, because they have been in that regimen for 40 years, they are used to been like that, the only way for Cuba to change is to have a political campaign where a “democratic Cuba” can choose their president and they can rebuild Cuba from scratch, which will require a lot of money and resources that Cuba does not have. The only salvation for Cuba is for a “high power” like USA takes over everything.

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On August 27, 2007, manfredz wrote:

First of all I think one of the worst things that could happen to that country is for the USA to take over everything.  And the Cubans (just like the east Germans will learn what the old line “Be careful of what you wish for, it may come true”  means.
I do feel in the long run Cuba needs a major change , in economics, politics and many other things - but don’t see it coming.  Instead, at best a slow transition from the present into a socialist system that allows more free enterprise and a political system that will be more tolerant of “outsiders”.
Anyway, just one person’s opinion.

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On August 27, 2007, publisher wrote:

I agree. Maybe kat was kidding when he/she suggested that the US take over Cuba. I don’t think anyone wants that.

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On August 27, 2007, manfredz wrote:

hope so too, although I’m sure that there are enough americans who really belive that taking over a country is the best thing that can happen to the poor supressed citizens of that country - and would love to apply that philosophy to Cuba.

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On August 27, 2007, publisher wrote:

Today I have been reading that the rumors of Friday nights August 17 and 24 may have been started by the Cuban government.

I can believe this. It’s a good way to flush out the rats (not that they should be flushed out mind you) and test the loyalties on many levels within the Cuban government.

Perhaps Alarcon was told to “leak” the news to his people and Lage was told to “leak” the news to his people and so on down the line each with it’s own piece of trackable information.

Then when a certain piece of information reached the streets of Havana or Miami the leak could be traced back up stream in order to flush out the rat.

I don’t doubt that there is a lot of testing of loyalties and shuffling around of military brass in these last couple weeks.

Fidel will probably be screwing with people even after his death.

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On August 28, 2007, kat wrote:

I didn’t mean it, when I said for USA to take over. Of course, the best way to go for Cuba is to have a slow transition. Now it’s going to be very difficult now that it has been so long since their freedom, they are still “trap in time”, you go to Cuba and it seems to be traveling back in time. I hope for that man and his brother to die, and for Cuba to go on. By the way, I’m a “she” smile Kathryn, it’s my name.

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On January 14, 2009, publisher wrote:

Here is the latest as of 4:40pm Eastern time Wednesday January 14, 2009:

More chatter that Fidel Castro is dead - UPDATED Fidel Castro reported to be in a coma