05 December 2006
Three days after Fidel Castro was a no show at his own birthday celebrations there has been no official updates on his health or any more videos or pictures of the ailing dictator.
It could be a very real possibility that the world’s last memory of Fidel Castro will be of the tyrant clad in his Adidas Jacket doing “dictatorcizes” for the camera.
In Havana, the anxious whispers and rumors continue to grow as it begins to become obvious to the Cuban population that Fidel Castro will probably never be seen alive in public again and that his younger brother, Raul, will now begin to “raulitacize” Cuba. Raul, who has lead the military since the 1959 inception of the Castro tyranny is expected to institute a heavily militaristic regime with a mix of free market enterprises all generating profits for the military.
One of the rumors is that a major announcement from the communist government is forthcoming in January. New workplace regulations that were to go into effect on Jan 2, 2006 have been postponed until April, signaling that the new Cuban government is re-evaluating its economic plans for the future.
There are also rumors that construction has begun in the Oriente province for Fidel’s memorial. Workers have supposedly been taken to Oriente from Havana to complete the project.
The dissidents on the island have started to proclaim a post-Fidel era and are beginning to call for the new Cuban regime to begin moving towards democratizing the island.
Manuel Cuesta Morúa told EFE that it was obvious that Fidel Castro would not return to power and that the reigns of power had been officially handed over to Raul on Saturday.
Oscar Espinosa Chepe, an ex political prisoner, proclaimed Fidel’s reign of terror over and pointed to Raul’s purported olive branch waving as a sign of hope. He added that it would be difficult for the US and the Europeans to dialogue with the new Cuban regime unless it made some “concrete moves such as the release of jailed dissidents”.
The Bush administration continues to insist that it is up to the Cubans in Cuba to chart a new course for Cuba’s future, dismissing any perceived olive branching by Cuba’s new dictator.
Some Cuban exiles on the other side of the Florida straights, have called on the US government to ease restrictions on Cubans traveling to the island to visit relatives. The petition was presented in Miami by Consenso Cubano, an Umbrella organization made up of more than 20 exile organization including the Cuban American National Foundation. They also asked the government to ease restrictions on humanitarian aid to Cuba. Just last week, Cuban dissidents inside Cuba also called for an ease in the travel ban as will some Democratic members of congress.
The Consenso Cubano also called on the Cuban government to ease telecommunication and mail restrictions with the United States and allow Cubans in Cubans to set up small businesses with monetary remittances from the US.
In response to the petition, Cuban-American Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart, issued a press statement saying that now is not the time for the US to be making unilateral concessions to the communist government in Cuba , but rather time to focus on putting pressure on Raul Castro to release all political prisoners and move towards holding free, multi-party elections.