"I'm not predicting that forever Cuba will remain the way it is, but for the short-term, the foreseeable future, one, two, three years ahead, I see significant repression, control of the population and very little openness," said Jaime Suchlicki, director of the University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies.
Suchlicki made the remarks during a media briefing on Cuba's future at the university's Casa Bacardi, the institute's headquarters. Other University of Miami experts weighing in included Brian Latell, a Latin American and Caribbean specialist and author; Andy Gomez, whose research focuses on human values and attitudes in a post-Castro Cuba; Jorge Piñón, an energy expert, and Eric Driggs, the institute's humanitarian aid coordinator.
"He is a ruthless military leader that for 47 years has run Cuba next to his brother ? I don't anticipate Raúl becoming a reformer in his old age," Suchlicki said.
"He's going to lead collegially. He's going to share the stage," Latell said.
"I think reaching out to the United States is attractive to the majority of Cubans. I think it appeals to them, especially their aspirations of change," he (Latell)said.
Then there’s CUBANOPHOBIA:
Several panelists said one danger for Raúl Castro's government is a younger generation that does not have as strong a connection to the Cuban Revolution and the Castro brothers as their parents did.
Gomez said that if Raúl Castro does not maintain control after Fidel Castro's death, as many as a half-million Cubans could leave the island by sea and head for the United States or other Caribbean countries.
"This is the group that most likely will want to leave the imprisoned island if the opportunity rises," he said.
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