So 18 months after Fidel was sidelined, undergoing close to a dozen procedures and cheating death more than once, the succession that had been declared to have gone off without a hitch, seems to be hitting some speed bumps.
Apparently successions involve a successor taking over from the “successee” in order for the succession to succeed. Fidel, the “successee”, is not only refusing to get out of the way but actually working, it seems, against what the successor, Raul, is working towards.
For example on Monday, Cuba announced that it would sign two UN treaties related to Human Rights-soon. By Friday, Fidel had sent a note to “Mesa Redonda” explaining why he had not signed those two treaties. Castro had given a speech on his objections to the treaties in 2001 after ex-Canadian prime minister Jean Chrétien had urged Castro to so. Hmm. Are the Fidelistas in the Cuban ruling copula running back and forth to the comandante tattle tailing on his brother and getting him to rebutt?
The regime says one thing, Granma prints a reflection contradicting it. Juventud Rebelde criticizes the process. Nothing changes. 18 months in a state of suspended animation waiting for the casket to finally close on Fidel’s reign of terror. There are even unconfirmed but credible rumors that Raul is going to start a new weekly newspaper to make his ideas known. One would think that in a totalitarian country, where the state controls all the press outlets, like in Cuba, this would not be necessary, but….maybe Raul is not 100% in control…so say the “malas lenguas” out there.
Meanwhile, the natives are getting restless and pissed off that the promised and much hyped changes, like Fidel, are nowhere in sight. Coupled with an invitation to debate by Raul himself, ( any debate would point to change and thus against the Fidelista Taliban), people are becoming very vocal and less afraid of the authorities, who because of the international spotlight shining on Cuba in anticipation of Fidel’s death and anticipated ensuing opening of the country, have had to tune down their usual brutality. Even the new kindler and gentler repression, like the apology after the desecration of Santa Teresita RC Church in Santiago, the deportation of Spanish Human rights activists who went to Cuba to support the ladies in White and the government instigated over the top, brutal melee on Darsi Ferrer’s peaceful march on Dec. 10, have exposed the regime’s authoritarian and brutal side.
Yesterday, El Mundo, in Spain published an incredible account of what really happened in Venezuela on December 2, behind the scenes, that made Hugo finally concede his defeat. The article basically says that the Chavez regime is being run from Havana through its intelligence agents in Caracas. Now, to me, this story is a hit-piece on Chavez coming from Havana. It shows Chavez to be a hysterical and capricious child that doesn’t make any decisions without checking with his handlers in Havana. I read it as a warning to Hugo from Havana reminding him that Raul controls his image, and his safety, therefore his life. Fidel himself had warned Chavez against assassination.
Though Raul loves the 100,000 bbls per day he gets from Hugo, the word is, he doesn’t like the motor mouthed “Bolivarian”. He probably didn’t take to it too kindly when Chavez pitched the Cubazuela idea favored by Chavez and Fidel which would make Chavez Cuba’s president once Castro is gone on Cuban soil.
Chavez is betting on Fidel and the dyed in the wool–red, of course- Fidelista Taliban to win more influence over Raul. They may not have the Army, like Raul, but they have Hugo’s cash. Chavez and his Cuban allies are still touting the idea that Fidel is getting ready to put his fatigues back on. Chavez has publicly begged Fidel to so. The rumors to this effect are that Fidel will show up at the Cienfuegos refinery’s grand re-opening sans his Adidas tracksuit or at a small controlled event in Havana to celebrate the revolutions triumph on Jan 2- A warning to Raul, reminding him that he, as Granma likes to point out, is only the interim leader and that the succession can be undone with a quick change of clothes.