The Number Two

Miguel Díaz Canel Foto tomada de http://peru21.pe/mundo/miguel-diaz-canel-posible-sucesor-raul-castro-2119009

Miguel Díaz-Canel. Photo from Peru21.pe

Ring, ring, ring …. international calls always take an eternity to open a passage through to a phone in Cuba. As if they had to push through a thick, dense atmosphere. Finally a voice answers on the other end of the line. It’s a friend whom I try to ask about what he thinks of the recently confirmed Council of State and the naming of Miguel Diaz-Canel as first vice-president. “What?” is the only answer I get at first. Then I explain that this Sunday, from Brazil, I was following the formation of the Cuban National Assembly and I would like to complete the report with some impressions from the Island. My friend yawns, confirms that he didn’t watch TV yesterday, and that no one has said anything to him. And I realize that I suffer from the evil of hyper-information, mixed with a certain distortion, produced by my distance from Cuba. I had forgotten the indifference shown by many of my compatriots when confronted with certain issues that are so predictable they no longer generate any expectations.

The designation of the number two man in the Cuban nomenklatura has probably been more commented on and discussed outside the Island than inside. In part because for several months the national media has already been suggesting — with constant allusions to this 52-year-old engineer — that he could become the successor to Fidel Castro. So few were surprised when the former Minister of Higher Education became, as of Sunday, yesterday, the “dauphin” of the Cuban regime. Their biological clock has the octogenarians governing the Greater Antilles at a crossroads: either establish the inheritance now or forever lose the chance seems to be dictating the hands of history. So the line of succession has been left to a much younger figure. They have based their choice on their confidence in the fidelity and manageability of Diaz-Canel, trapped between a commitment to his superiors and a conviction of how limited his real power is.

History shows us that the behavior of these dauphins while they are being observed by their bosses is one thing, and something else entirely when those bosses are no longer around. Only then will we discover who the real man is who yesterday became number two in Cuba. However, I have hopes that the fate of our country will not be decided by this Council of State, nor by this presidential chair. I have hopes that the era of the olive-green monarchs, their heirs and their entourage is ending.

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131 thoughts on “The Number Two

  1. Paja sappa:

    No, just most of my internet life.

    I’m very interested in Cuba, I try to help Cuban slaves escape from Castro’s plantation.

    We might rescue two or three slaves this year.

    Sometimes I read other Desde Cuba bloggers, wish I had more time.

  2. HEY REGIME RATS if you know whats good for you, Don’t mess with GORKI AGUILA. If you do I promise you a NEW REVOLUTION that will PARK you on your ASS. MALICONAZO AHORA is the NEW REVOLUTION brewing and you can be the yeast. The people in Cuba are demanding respect for their CIVIL RIGHTS and access to INTERNET, some very basic demands. Time to change your evil ways. Viva LAS DAMAS DE BLANCO

  3. Marabu:

    How often can you repeat the same lie?

    I always meet American tourists in Havana. Neither I nor any US citizen I know have ever had a problem going to Cuba.

    If you repeat the same lie 1000 times will it become true?

    The only embargo on the truth is yours.

  4. @MARABU, the embargo is the excuse the Regime feeds the Cuban people. Notice all the REGIME BILLBOARDS in Cuba spewing propaganda against the YANKEES. Large signs telling the Cuban people to make SACRIFICES for the REVOLUTION, while Fidel sports around in a 60 foot luxury yacht. What happens in Cuba is shamefull and supported by a handfull of REGIME APOLOGIST who travel to the island to exploit the all u can eat buffets at the resorts. The Regime thugs have been bullying the the citizens of Cuba for 52 years and the reason people jump on rafts and throw themselves into the Atlantic Ocean to escape. If you want to see CUBA today just YOUTUBE any vacationers trip, off the resort, CUBA looks like a third world county with buildings in decay and potholes on every street corner. The REVOLUTION was and is a complete FAILURE, thanks to the CASTRO Brothers.

  5. @Humberto Capiro
    Another lie: “The embargo only affects the American companies and their subsidiaries”

    The embargo affects every US-born US-citizen who is not allowed to travel to Cuba as a tourist. You can go to China, to Iran, to Saudi Arabia but not to Cuba (the only country in the world)

    US citizens cannot see with their proper eyes what Cuba is about. Therefore the first victim of the embargo is the truth. The second victim of the embargo is the freedom to travel. And the third victim is the US-image in Latin America.

    Much of the information abut Cuba is controlled by the dinozaurs of the Cold War: the anti-Castro fanatics from Miami (they are easy to spot because they repear the word “Castro” in every post).

  6. JUST AS A LITTLE REMINDER NICK! FROM MY COMMENT #108 DEAR!!

    nick!! ARE YOU GOING TO PROVIDE US WITH A LINK ON THE EFFECTS OF THE “EMBARGO” OR NOT! YOU KNOW, LIKE MY SAMPLE BELOW! LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR EXCELLENT POST! JE JE JE!

    Lift the Cuba Embargo ? WHAT EMBARGO! By Humberto (Bert) Corzo*

    In this article I analyze the arguments of lifting the Cuba embargo, which are more rhetorical than real, answering each one of the specific considerations of those that support the end of it.
    EFFECT OF THE EMBARGO

    The United States Government has always exempted from the embargo medicine and humanitarian supplies to the Cuban people, as long as such aid is distributed by independent non-governmental organizations (NGO) such as the Catholic Church and international organizations such as Pastors for Peace.

    Since 1992, the U.S. has approved 36 of 38 license requests for commercial sales of medicines and medical equipment to Cuba. During the period from 1993 to 1996, the U.S. has licensed over $150 million in humanitarian assistance, more than the total worldwide foreign aid received by Cuba in those years. This total does not include the millions of dollars in medicine and food sent to Cuba in the form of “care packages” from relatives living in the U.S. [1]

    In the year 2000 the Department of Commerce approved the export to Cuba of approximately $550 million in medicines, medical equipment, cash remittances, gift parcels and food (cash remittances and gift parcels account for about 75% of the total amount). The United States government’s embargo has had little effect on the Cuban economy, since it only represents 5 % of Cuba’s commerce with the rest of the world. The embargo only affects the American companies and their subsidiaries. The rest of the countries, 180 since the last count in 2007, are free to conduct business with Cuba and are doing so, as confirmed by imports surpassing $13.78 billions during 2007 [2]. In reality there is not such embargo since in the year 2000 the United States Congress lifted the prohibition of the sale of agricultural products and medicines to Cuba, thereby allowing Castro’s regime to buy everything it needs by paying in cash.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ACADEMIC PAPER WITH FOOTNOTES & EVERYTHING!

    http://www.cubanet.org/CNews/y09/abril09/09_O_3.html

  7. nick on #116!! WHAT?? MORE BAD OLD U.S.A.??? MORE BAD OLD “EMBARGO”?? BRAVOOO!!! YOU HAVE NOT LOST YOUR TOUCH!

    U.S.-CUBA TRADE AND ECONOMIC COUNCIL, INC.
    ECONOMIC EYE ON CUBA- February 2012 – Report For Calendar Year 2011
    2011-2001 U.S. EXPORT STATISTICS FOR CUBA

    The following is the data for exports from the United States to the Republic of Cuba relating to the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA) of 2000, which re-authorized the direct commercial (on a cash basis) export of food products (including branded food products) and agricultural products (commodities) from the United States to the Republic of Cuba, irrespective of purpose. The TSRA does not include healthcare products, which remain authorized by the Cuban Democracy Act (CDA) of 1992.

    The data represents the U.S. Dollar value of product exported from the United States to the Republic of Cuba under the auspice of TSRA. The data does not include transportation charges, bank charges, or other costs associated with exports from the United States to the Republic of Cuba. The government of the Republic of Cuba reports data that, according to the government of the Republic of Cuba, includes transportation charges, bank charges, and other costs. However, the government of the Republic of Cuba has not provided verifiable data. The use of trade data reported by the government of the Republic of Cuba is suspect. The government of the Republic of Cuba has been asked to provide verifiable data, but has not.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE REPORT!

    http://www.cubatrade.org/CubaExportStats.pdf

  8. nick on #110!! DEAR, IM NOT HERE TO CONVINCE YOU!! YOU HAVE NOT FIGURE THAT OUT YET?? IM HERE AS A COUNTERPOINT TO YOUR PROPAGANDA! WITH LINKS AND THE JE JE JE’S!! JE JE JE! AND THE PART ABOUT THE DUCKS?? IS A SAYING IN ENGLISH! LOOK IT UP!ENTIENDES?? QUACK QUACK! OR SHOULD I SAY, POLLY WANTS A COPY AND PASTE, POLLY WANTS A COPY AND PASTE! JE JE JE!

  9. ==The man comes around…== said on #111: “nick … so that you know with Humberto… he is a type of media parrot, on a loop… the same lame things he regurgitated to me over the past 12months …regardless of how consistent an arguments I put forward… I requested he doesn’t paste full articles.. he cannot be bothered he swamps and floods this blog with they ‘view’… Je Je Je is his way of venting his frustration when he cannot come up with an argument and you touch a spot… I suspect he likes dressing up in army boots and gear for fun this is why he uses the word ‘fascists’ so often…”

    ==The man comes around…== !! I LOOOOOOVE YOUR ATTACKS ON MY PERSON! THEYRE KINKY AND NAUGHTY (feathers and boots)!! DO YOU LOVE IT WHEN I HIT YOUR G-SPOT DEAR?? I CAN DO IT WITH A WHIP IF YOU LIKE!! JE JE JE!

  10. Nick,

    One day you should tell us about your “fairly modest” lifestyle you lived in Cuba, and I’ll tell you whether you lived in the top 1% or top 5% of the Cuban pyramid.

    Why don’t socialists ever move to Cuba and try to live like an ordinary Cuban?

  11. Hi Nick,

    So now we’re in 2013 and shouldn’t talk about the 50s and 80s. Because the UN that supports Castro voted massively in favor of Pol Pot too.

    The USA is always changing. We are constantly electing new governments.

    But you can’t stop talking about the past 200 years when you try to prove the USA is evil.

    You really believe that “representatives of more than 95% of humanity” vote in the UN?

    You believe that the Saudi family represents their people? Including their women?

    That the Chinese government represents their people?

    The UN may be the only international forum you have, it’s not mine.

    There are over a billion Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodians that hate the communists and couldn’t care less what happens to Castro, or would cheer if he was hanged.

    Add to that a few hundred million Russians and Eastern Europeans.

    None of them were asked to vote at the UN.

  12. Help,

    This is not the 40s or 50s or 80s.

    This is 2013.

    The USA makes up 4.46% of the worlds population.
    Israel: 0.11%
    Republic of Palau: 0.00079%

    Therefore the representatives of more than 95% of humanity voted against your blockade in the only international forum we have.

    Even within the USA the majority are against it according to opinion polls.

    Exactly what sort of democracy do you believe in?
    The type where a 5% minority rules over the other 95%.

    After all the years of Spanish imperialism, U S imperialism, Russian imperialism,
    after all these struggles for reforms,
    after all these bloggers and after all this time thats still dragging on…

    ….I most sincerely hope that Cuba doesnt ever end up with what you
    seem to think is democracy.

    Mr Help (The 5% Man): Face the facts …

    This anachronistic blockade, that never achieves anything other than to attract the world’s contempt, only exists due to the importance of Florida electoral college votes.

    Nothing more, nothing less than that.

  13. There you go…. you resurrect PolPot and all is clear about Cuba… no word though on what the US did in Vietnam and Cambodia… probably it was a Rambo movie I am talking about according to Help!

  14. Nick,

    I have to go for the day.

    I notice again you talk about labels and words and avoid answering simple questions.

    I asked you:

    You justify being against the embargo because the UN votes against it.

    In the 1950s, the UN voted against embargoes against South Africa.

    Around 1980, the UN voted massively in favor of Pol Pot.

    According to your rationalizations, trade sanctions against South Africa were criminal in the 1950s.

    And Pol Pot was a legitimate ruler of the Cambodia. Because the UN said so.

    Like Castro, Pol Pot had a “different type of democracy”

  15. Hello again Mr Help,

    As I keep saying I do not need educating as to what the word fascist means.

    Stalin, Pol Pot, GW Bush, Blair (to name but four)were murderous leaders of varying types/shades.
    I dislike all of the above to varying degrees but none of them were/are fascists.

    The USA had, during the 20th century,a policy of supporting, sponsoring arming fascist leaders in Latin America: Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador etc etc

    Thankfully USA no longer pursues this.
    Maybe because there are no more fascists left to prop up.

    The USA has supported all types of regimes so long as those regimes are pro USA.
    American governments do not like countries which stand up to American governments.

    Embargo vote, UN, Oct 2012:

    3 countries vote for it (USA, Israel, Republic of Palau)
    2 abstensions (Marshall Islands, Micronesia)
    188 countries vote to condemn it (the vast majority of the representatives of the human race)

    Mr Help you say:

    ‘The UN is collection of states, many run by dictators and gangsters, with a few democracies thrown in.’

    Out of the 188 countries that voted to condemn this ridiculous embargo which do you suggest are the few democracies thrown in??????

    I think you like to make out you believe in democracy but you don’t really do you??

    Re Apartheid South Africa: I think I made my views clear in previous posts.
    But to save you looking back here is a copy of my #81:

    “I always try not to ever justify war. It always includes its atrocities.

    I guess I would condone the war against fascism in the 30s/40s.
    And maybe also the war against the expansionism of apartheid South Africa in the 70s/80s.”

    On Fascism and Apartheid South Africa I don’t think I can be any clearer.

  16. In addition to “fascism”, left-wing fascists also use “right-wing” as an insult.

    Castro was an extreme nationalist. Cubans were forced to march in the street shouting Death to America.

    Unions were outlawed. Workers who went on strike were jailed.

    There is no vote.

    All economic choice was removed from the life of the average Cuban. They had to shop at Castro owned stores buying Castro owned products.

    Like one of those old US mining towns where all the miners had to buy everything from the company.

    Except those miners could leave. Or they could fight and get unions. They could also vote in elections for politicians who would support them.

    All of that is illegal in Cuba.

    Castro may do everything a right-wing fascist does, but if he says he’s a “leftist” and “anti-fascist” then he must be a good guy for all the armchair socialists of the world.

  17. Nick,

    Why are US trade sanctions against Cuba criminal?

    Do you think South African trade sanctions were also criminal?

    I supported trade sanctions against South Africa, even when the UN voted against them in the 1950s.

    According to you, trade sanctions against South Africa are criminal unless the UN supports them?

    The UN is collection of states, many run by dictators and gangsters, with a few democracies thrown in. The USA is an independent country that can make its own laws.

    I also supported the Vietnamese war against Pol Pot and his overthrow.

    The UN voted overwhelmingly for Pol Pot. Do you think Pol Pot was the elected representative of the Cambodian people and his overthrow was criminal?

    I oppose fascism, so am opposed to Che and Castro and the US government whenever it supports fascism, whether it be Saudi Arabia or China.

    US governments have done many criminal things, I can name hundreds. One of the most criminal was when Jimmy Carter, together with the UN, voted for Pol Pot.

    In that case, the Soviet bloc were in the right.

    Cuba is so unimportant economically and politically to the US that the embargo isn’t on the map of most politicians. Even if its completely ineffectual or counter-productive.

    It’s just too low a priority.

    The US does do criminal things to Cuba. The worst is sending Cuban refugees back to Castro.

    The only criminal thing about the embargo is that other states won’t support it.

  18. The Man Comes Around,

    Yes I am coming to the same conclusion as you regarding Humberto the link man.

    What I cannot understand about these people is that they say the embargo has no ill effects on cuba but they will not join Yoani Sanchez in calling for its end.

    I have never met anyone in Cuba in favour of it.

    Fidel blames it for everything

    Therefore there is a long running joke in Cuba used whenever something goes wrong or someone is blamed for anything:

    “no es mi culpa, es la culpa del bloqueo”

    -its not my fault its the blockade’s fault.

    The Man Comes Around: I congratulate you on over 12 months of reading some of the insane comments that are posted here.

    There is an excellent balanced article by Esteban Morales in Havana Times re Obama’s conundrum over the Alan Gross/Cuban 5 situation.
    I wont paste a link.

    Humberto, Help and everyone,

    Oxford English Dictionary definition of fascism:

    noun
    [mass noun]
    an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.


    (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practices.

    You may well accuse Fidel being authoritarian, nationalistic or intolerant.
    Fair enough if you like. Many would agree.

    But right-wing?????

    Gimme a break.

    I refer you back to my #110.
    I know what a fascist is.

  19. Nick,

    Here’s standard definitions of fascism, from Webster’s:

    a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

    Che and Fidel were the most extreme fascists to take power in modern Latin American history.

    It wasn’t a racist fascism, and it wasn’t nearly as murderous or monstrous a fascism as Hitlerism, Maoism or Stalinism, but it was an extreme form of fascism.

    Using fascist as a general insult is a technique made popular by left-wing fascists.

    Cuban fascism was at its most extreme in the 60s and 70s but has loosened up considerably since then.

  20. nick … so that you know with Humberto… he is a type of media parrot, on a loop… the same lame things he regurgitated to me over the past 12months …regardless of how consistent an arguments I put forward… I requested he doesn’t paste full articles.. he cannot be bothered he swamps and floods this blog with they ‘view’… Je Je Je is his way of venting his frustration when he cannot come up with an argument and you touch a spot… I suspect he likes dressing up in army boots and gear for fun this is why he uses the word ‘fascists’ so often…

    This is how far I got with them all:the Cuban Act is law, and he and them are not going to repudiate it for a very simple reason… through the Cuban Act the US and them can and would request restitution in full of their former assets in Cuba…. and these guys here this is what they are after.. all in the name of ‘democracy’ and ‘free elections’ of course! This I have proven time and again but not much else… All you get out of Humberto is that the embargo has no effect and that Castro uses it against his people… Well yeah but I don’t see them repudiating an act of war practically against a nation that didn’t play ball the American way…

  21. Humberto,

    re your #108: Je Je Je?

    So you wanna tell me what a fascist is?

    Members of my family fought against fascism during World War 2.

    That great and noble American president FDR sent U S forces to fight alongside us.

    1000s of people died in my country due to fascist bombing campaigns.

    I know what a fascist is.

    You guys have introduced Hitler, Stalin, Mao into the debate even Pol Pot.
    So I think its only fair to include little George W.

    Also it is absurd and irrelevant to have a debate on Cuba without including the crazy, undemocratic and illegal U S policies towards the island.

    Also whilst U S forces were in Afganistan (understandable given 9-11) and Iraq (a bloodthirsty piece of oportunistic imperialism, illegal under democratic international law), G W Bush was making threats towards Cuba.

    I was in Cuba at that time. Do you think Cubans feel good when they are threatened by the most powerful military state on earth??

    During this time even the anti-castro cubans said that George W was far worse than Fidel.

    Some the reasons why Castros 1 and 2 have lasted so long:

    1.The ridiculous, illegal, undemocratic and imperialistic policies of the USA.

    2.Some of the crazy threats of U S presidents who I would call comedy presidents if it was not for the blood on their hands.

    3.The fanatisism and ranting of the opposition to Castro from Miami.

    Some of that fanatisism and ranting is being expressed in posts here.

    Come back Griffin.
    Your sense of reason from the anti castro side is being missed since #50.

    And Humberto what is this about ducks?

    If you want to introduce poultry into the debate then I tell you this:

    Why don’t you, Mr Help and George W get some cash together, hire a light aircraft and fly over a turkey farm.
    You could drop leaflets informing the turkeys what a fun day thanksgiving is going to be.

    Je Je Je??

    Ja Ja Ja!!!

  22. nick!! ARE YOU GOING TO PROVIDE US WITH A LINK ON THE EFFECTS OF THE “EMBARGO” OR NOT! AND PLEASE, DONT INSULT OUR INTELLIGENCE BY SWITCHING THE TOPIC TO GEORGE W. BUSH NOR QUESTION OUR ABILITY TO USED THE DICTIONARY AND SEE WHO FITS THE DESCRIPTION OF “FASCISM”! WE HAD 12 YEARS OF THE BUSH FAMILY AND THE ARE OUT! THE CASTRO BROTHERS/FAMILY WILL BE AROUND A POSSIBLE 60 YEARS!

    FASCISM: a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

    DICTATORSHIP: 1. a country, government, or the form of government in which absolute power is exercised by a dictator. 2. absolute, imperious, or overbearing power or control. 3. the office or position held by a dictator.

    “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck”

    If it walks like a FASCIST, quacks like a FASCSITS, looks like a FASCIST, it must be a FASCIST! AND IF IT COMES FROM CUBA AND NAMED CASTRO, IS A CASTROFASCIST!! JE JE JE!

  23. Humberto,

    Thanks for all the links.

    You express the point of view that the U S embargo has no ill effects on Cuba.
    If thats the case then scrap it as Yoani Sanchez suggests.

    Re your #101: Exactly where in my #97 did I defend 54 years of Castros?
    and do you not think I am entitled to express opinions?

    Re your #100: By far the worst example of a leader of a country in the Americas this century in terms of blood on his hands is George W Bush.
    He and his henchmen take this accolade quite comfortably.
    To suggest that he got to the white house via due democratic process would be simply absurd.
    He got there due to nepotism.

    There is much mis-use of the word fascist creeping in to these posts.

    Hitler was a fascist as was Musolini, Franco etc.

    Stalin was a total monster. But he was not a fascist.

    When you use the word Fascist are you simply using it as a term of general abuse or general dislike?

    If you look in the english dictionary is the definition of the word ‘fascist’ simply someone you don’t like?

    I don’t like G W Bush but I’m not going to call him a fascist.
    A war criminal perhaps, but not a fascist.

    Re your #106: Mariela Castro has achieved much regarding Cuba’s change from their previous ridiculous homophobic policies and combatting the general level of homophobia within Cuban society.
    Because of this she has attracted much criticism from all sides within Cuba.

    Credit to her for taking this stance.

    I dont think this or her surname make her the next number 1.

    If Snr Diaz-Canel takes over and does a good job of introducing more reforms are you all going to come back on here and admit your errors of judgement??

    Somehow I doubt it.

  24. EXCELLENT ANALYSIS IN THIS ARTICLE! IN MY VIEW IT WILL BE MARIELA CASTRO WHO WILL TAKE OVER THE THRONE IF THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY CAN LAST MUCH LONGER AFTER RAUL CASTRO “LEAVES” OFFICE!

    THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE: Why Cuba Will Still be Anti-American After Castro – In totalitarian regimes, the road to bureaucratic success is not through hard work but through loyalty.

    Dressed in an impeccable, custom-tailored suit and a Versace tie, instead of his usual military fatigues, General Raul Castro addressed the Cuban Parliament on February 24. He did not discuss political or economic reforms. Instead, he announced he would be stepping down from power at the end of the five-year term for which he had just been elected. If the Pope retires, “I can also retire,” he explained. Yet the Cubans would have to wait for the “younger” brother to reach 87 years of age to see the end of the Castro dynasty.

    But not so fast. There are other Castros in the wings. In particular, Raul’s son, Alejandro Castro Espin, a colonel in Cuba’s intelligence apparatus, could be groomed in the future by becoming a general and a member of the Communist Party Politburo, Cuba’s ruling body. In the meantime, Raul appointed a younger Communist, Miguel Diaz Canel, as first vice president among five other vice presidents. A hardline party apparatchik, Diaz Canel, a 52-year-old engineer and former Minister of Education, grew up under Fidel’s and Raul’s shadow as an obedient and disciplined Marxist. A protégé of Ramon Machado Ventura, an old communist and (till Sunday) first vice president, Diaz Canel mirrors the ideological rigidity of his mentor.

    A second appointment followed. This one for President of the National Assembly (Cuba’s Parliament). Raul picked another old and loyal Communist, Esteban Lazo. Lazo has been the only prominent Cuban black to occupy any high-ranking position in the predominantly white-controlled Cuban government. A bland, obedient bureaucrat, Lazo will follow the Parliaments’ tradition of rubber-stamping the laws issued by the leadership.

    The two appointments seemed more symbolic than significant. Raul Castro wanted to send a double message: that the octogenarian Cuban leadership was now giving way to a new, younger generation of leaders. Also, aware of the unhappiness among Cuba’s black population, impoverished and neglected by the regime, Castro wanted to elevate a loyal supporter to the ceremonial position in the Parliament. It is doubtful that the majority of Cubans (more than 60 percent of whom are black and mulatto) will be appeased by these appointments or renew their belief in the Cuban revolutionary leadership. Similarly, the appointment of a young hardline bureaucrat is unlikely to gain much favor with Cuba’s youth, hoping for deeper political and economic changes.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/03/why-cuba-will-still-be-anti-american-after-castro/273680/

  25. Marabu said: “I am fed up with US travel restrictions to Cuba”

    AND THE CUBAN PEOPLE Marabu HAVE BEEN FED UP FOR THE PAST 54 YEARS OF NOT BEING ALLOWED TO TRAVEL PERIOD! THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR WHINING AND THEIR COMPLAINT DEAR! ON A SECOND NOTE, WHEN SHOULD I EXPECT THAT ELUSIVE ARTICLE/ACADEMIC PAPER WITH STATISTICS AND LINK ON HOW THE BAD OLD “EMBARGO” IS AFFECTING THE EVERYDAY CUBAN CITIZEN?? SOON I HOPE!

    HAVANA TIMES : The (Non) Right of Cubans to Travel -Haroldo Dilla Alfonso-February 1, 2010-

    Above all, travel for Cubans is not a right, but a legal privilege. It is a condition that can be granted or rescinded. It is a revocable concession by an unappealable power and is without a defined judicial framework.

    In all cases, the departures of these people imply considerable fees that can end up in well excess of US $500, an immense sum for a population with exceedingly depressed wages that average $20 a month. In short, to leave, each person must be able to pay for a letter of invitation, a passport and an exit permit.

    On top of this, once in the destination country, the traveler must make payments to the Cuban embassy in that country a sum that varies each month they remain in that country, which is a highly uncustomary practice. This sum fluctuates between $40 and $150 a month.

    Other categories of technicians exist —for doctors, for example— who cannot leave through this channel. Likewise, there is a category for people considered “politically adverse,” for which the obstacles to exit are numerous.

    What is particularly negative is that people who want to travel temporarily cannot take their children (those below legal age). This is only possible when the person decides to emigrate “definitively.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=18972

  26. @Humberto Capiro

    “Marabu!! TO YOUR COMMENTS #93, MY RESPONSES BELOW! AND COULD YOU PROVIDE AN ACADEMIC PAPER OR OTHER RELIABLE DOCUMENT THAT GIVES STATISTICS ON HOW THE “EMBARGO” AFFECTS THE EVERYDAY CUBAN CITIZEN?”

    Why? I cannot care less about Cuban, Mexican or Columbian citizens.

    I am fed up with US travel restrictions to Cuba.

    A Cuban who one year ago came to US claiming “opression” now books a flight and travels freely to Cuba (the country of his supposed “opressors”) either for business or for pleasure. A US-citizen – who in most cases feeds the Cuban immigrant – is being denied this right.

    This is bad law and I want to have it changed.

  27. nick, Marabu! AND HERE IS ANOTHER ON FROM MY ARCHIVES! THE EVERYDAY CUBAN CITIZENS SPEAKS! NOW, WHO SHOULD WE BELIEVE, YOU OR THEM???

    YOUTUBE: DOCUMENTARY: “Cuba and the Elephants” – Full version w / English Sub-titles: A Look at Cuba, in reality beyond its tourist attractions. A documentary that takes us to reflect on the achievements of the socialist system and how truly the common Cuban people live. A production of the Political Institute of Peru for Liberty. o cubano. Una producción del Instituto Político para la Libertad Perú (iplperu.org).

  28. nick, Marabu! HERE IS ANOTHER DOCUMENTARY WHERE THE YOUNG PEOPLE IN CUBAN TALK ON HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT THEIR “GOVERNMENT”! FEEL FREE TO POST YOUR REVIEWS!

    YOUTUBE ENTIRE DOCUMENTARY: “Grandchildren of the Cuban Revolution” – The Grandchildren of the Revolution gives the youth a voice to share their feelings of hope and despair. Some speak with humor, many do it in defiance. The film tries to capture the vibe of Cubas youth today. Featuring artists like: Los Aldeanos, Porno para Ricardo, Silvito El Libre and bloggers Claudia Cadelo, Yoani Sanchez and Laritza Diversent, the film was directed by Carlos Montaner with the help of young camera men and women who visited the island throughout a span of several months. SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUB-TITLES

  29. nick on #97!! I THINK WE SHOULD HEAR FROM THE EVERYDAY CUBAN CITIZEN ON HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT THEIR “GOVERNMENT” RATHER THAN SOMEONE LIKE YOU WHO IS NEITHER CUBAN NOR PROVIDING EMPIRICAL DATA WITH A LINK! DONT YOU FEEL SILLY DEFENDING THE CASTROFASCIST OLIGARCHY HOLD ON POWER FOR OVER 54 YEARS??

    YOUTUBE : CUBAN Documentary – “Wishes on a Falling Star”- While the Castro brothers face their certain end, an uncertain future hangs over the island. Some people are afraid, many cannot wait, but all shudder and hope that the changes will be positive.
    This documentary leads the audience through the discovery of this hope, through a tourist’s camera which looks to be turned off and oblivious to the conversation at hand, yet is focused on candidly capturing each person’s wishes. There is the old guerrillero who took part in the revolution, the lady who met Che Guevara and lives thanks to the government social card, and also the young boys and girls — those who wish to make a career within the rules, as well as those who only try to escape abroad. Clandestine underground shops, businessmen experienced in all things illegal, dodgy pimps, mothers who force their daughters into selling their bodies — the hidden face of the State which welcomes tourists into its luxury resorts is openly displayed beyond censorship’s control. One special guide is Yoani Sanchez, the independent blogger, a leader of the new, peaceful revolution — the revolution of ideas. The internet is its main instrument, while the government attempts to limit computer use with any means possible in a pushing and pulling of ideals. In the interview, recorded in a secret location, the young writer speaks about her country’s ruin, and where Raul’s reforms have no effect on everyday life. Castro’s supporters and dissidents, young and old — none deceive themselves that the star of the revolution will shine on for much longer. And this is what this project focuses on: the wishes on a falling star.

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