Castro successors keep Cuba on stable track


canadarocks
#1



Wed Jan 17, 3:05 PM

By Anthony Boadle
HAVANA (Reuters) - Whether or not Cuban leader Fidel Castro is terminally ill, the provisional government he designated under his brother Raul has kept Cuba on a stable track in his absence, Cuba watchers said on Wednesday.
Even U.S. officials who suspect the 80-year-old revolutionary has only months to live admit the hemisphere's only Communist-run nation is not about to implode without its supreme "comandante."
There has been no rioting nor a repeat of the 1994 exodus when thousands of Cubans took to the sea in precarious craft to seek a better life in the United States as the Cuban economy slumped following the collapse of the former Soviet Union.
Castro stepped down temporarily on July 31 after emergency intestinal surgery forced him to hand over the reins to low-profile Defense Minister Raul Castro and a team of five other Communist Party leaders.
Cuban economists say they are encouraged by the change of style under Raul Castro, who is focusing on fixing Cuba's most pressing problems rather than blaming scape-goats.
"Raul seems to be faring pretty well without Fidel," said Julia Sweig, an expert on Cuba at the Council on Foreign Relations think tank in Washington.
"There are no signs of instability," said Sweig, who believes a post-Fidel transition -- staged by Castro himself -- is already underway in Cuba.
Sweig sees slow-motion change toward greater economic opportunity for Cubans, not the wholesale shift to free-market democracy Washington has sought for decades.
Castro's condition is a tightly guarded state secret in Cuba.
The Spanish newspaper El Pais, quoting medical sources at the same Madrid hospital where a surgeon who examined Castro in late December works, reported on Tuesday that the Cuban leader faced a "very serious" prognosis after three failed operations to remove infected bulges in the large intestine.
Castro personally made the decision to avoid a routine colostomy, an opening in the abdomen to release stool into an external bag, opting for a riskier short-cut operation that went wrong, El Pais said in a new report on Wednesday.
Officials in Havana have not commented on the report.
'NO FISSURES'
"Whether it's diverticulitis complicated by botched operations or incomplete operations is in some ways minor," said a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The key issue is how Cuba's one-party system is coping without Castro at the helm, he said. He added no "fissures" had appeared so far, while Castro is still formally president.
"I've not seen any signs to suggest that they've gone further down the track in terms of removing Castro as a governing figure, or that they have fallen off the rails in terms of their ability to keep things together," he said.
Cuba's institutions are sturdier than those of most Third World nations and its population is healthier and more educated due to its welfare state, an Asian diplomat in Havana said.
But he said Raul Castro will have to move quickly to reduce the economic hardships and shortages most Cubans face, before they turn into political demands.
"For Raul, 2 and 2 is 4. He is more pragmatic and less ideological than his brother," the diplomat said.
Raul Castro, who runs Cuba's armed forces and is now acting head of state and the party, was once the Kremlin's man in Havana. But today he is seen to favor more room for private initiative to kick-start a battered economy.
At a meeting with university students in December, the 75-year-old general invited more debate on public policy and said the time was coming for a new generation to lead Cuba.
Two days later he said the country was tired of excuses at a National Assembly session that focused on chronic housing, public transport and food supply deficiencies.
Where Fidel Castro would surely have laid into private farmers for enriching themselves at the state's expense, Raul angrily demanded to know why farmers had not been paid on time when they account for 65 percent of Cuba's produce.
Without his brother's towering personality and charisma, Raul Castro will have to deliver on bread-and-butter issues and open political space for debate on how to do that, Sweig said.
"They are going to have to get the state out of smaller enterprises that Cubans can clearly run themselves," she said.


Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited
 
selfactivated
#2
This interests me. I have friends in Cuba that tell me the hype that the news stirs up is nothing like their lifestyle but I dont know. Maybe the brother will have a kinder hand.
 
L Gilbert
#3
Perhaps he may be a kinder fella. Perhaps the masses will be able to increase their standard of living a bit, but I'm betting that they'll remain poverty-stricken.
 
sanctus
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

Perhaps he may be a kinder fella. Perhaps the masses will be able to increase their standard of living a bit, but I'm betting that they'll remain poverty-stricken.


Yes, that is what I think as well. Also, I wonder what will happen when this Castro departs. After all, like his brother, he's hardly a young man. The real interesting thing to watch will be the transition from the Castro reigme to the younger men when the Castro's are both dead.
 
Numure
#5
The advantage Cuba, is that it's population, at least our generation and the younger one, is more educated, and healthier then the majority of the latin american population. If Raul can pull off a smooth transition to a free market economy, and a more democratic governement, then Cuba could become a power house in Latin America.

As long as all their great holiday resorts are open, I'll be quite happy. Every year a spend a few weeks in Cuba, really the best place to vacation.
 
Curiosity
#6
The Cuban People.... are intellectually and artistically gifted...and have so much to contribute.

Their land is plentiful and beckoning the outside world. I wish for them a new beginning where they
can develop and realize their personal best rather than being kept mentally shackled by such old ways
as their government continues to practice.

There are new people singing new songs to the Cuban leadership however, who may distract them from ex-Castro progress, keeping them still bound to outdated and oppressive demands - and yet another magnificent generation of people lost to the world...

Can someone tell me with all of the tourism Canada offers to this tiny nation, why it has not made an
effort to absorb Cuba into the Canadian nationality? I am not talking empire building, but Cuba seems
such a favorite with the Canadian people who make determined efforts to vacation and visit that nation... a southern, warm, and sunny Canadian climate in winter might be an advantage....
 
hermanntrude
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post


Can someone tell me with all of the tourism Canada offers to this tiny nation, why it has not made an
effort to absorb Cuba into the Canadian nationality? I am not talking empire building, but Cuba seems
such a favorite with the Canadian people who make determined efforts to vacation and visit that nation... a southern, warm, and sunny Canadian climate in winter might be an advantage....

are you suggesting cuba should become part of the commonwealth? I don't know if a monarchy and a communist republic are compatible
 
sanctus
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by hermanntrude View Post

are you suggesting cuba should become part of the commonwealth? I don't know if a monarchy and a communist republic are compatible

Why not? It might liven things up a bit. Lots of places in the Commonwealth do not have Her Majesty as their Head of State anyway

It'd be fun to see Castro or his successors at a Commonwealth conference
 
hermanntrude
#9
maybe the queen could come and visit and share a cigar?
 
EagleSmack
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post

The Cuban People.... are intellectually and artistically gifted...and have so much to contribute.

Their land is plentiful and beckoning the outside world. I wish for them a new beginning where they
can develop and realize their personal best rather than being kept mentally shackled by such old ways
as their government continues to practice.

There are new people singing new songs to the Cuban leadership however, who may distract them from ex-Castro progress, keeping them still bound to outdated and oppressive demands - and yet another magnificent generation of people lost to the world...

Can someone tell me with all of the tourism Canada offers to this tiny nation, why it has not made an
effort to absorb Cuba into the Canadian nationality? I am not talking empire building, but Cuba seems
such a favorite with the Canadian people who make determined efforts to vacation and visit that nation... a southern, warm, and sunny Canadian climate in winter might be an advantage....

Am I reading this correctly? Are you really serious. Canada absorb Cuba!

Adopt it like a pet?

Truly this is one of the most pompous, self righteous post I've ever read. Basically you are saying that because Cuba has nice weather you can "liberate" them and Cubans can all live to serve Canadians as their cabanna boys and waitresses.
 
Walter
#11
Ban on lawsuits against foreign firms doing business in Cuba lifted
https://www.oann.com/ban-on-lawsuits...n-cuba-lifted/

A free Cuba will happen under Trump's watch.
 
Cannuck
#12
Cuba's move to freedom has nothing to do with Trump despite what Faux News tells you
 
B00Mer
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Cannuck View Post

Cuba's move to freedom has nothing to do with Trump despite what Faux News tells you

Calm down.
 
Cannuck
#14
That's my line
 

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