Jeovany Jimenez Vega, 27 January 2018 — The very notable absence of Colonel Alejandro Castro Espín on the nominating list of the National Assembly of People’s Power only confirms the suspicions of many analysts: the Castro clan opted to continue ruling from the sidelines. It was an open secret that the Prince of the Plaza was contemplated until relatively recently by the elite of Havana as a real possibility to be the next president, should it happen that, at the decisive moment, there was no other candidate both predictable enough and completely lacking in charisma so as not to be a threat to the establishment.
Someone minimally presentable and capable of taking on the masquerade of the Castro “succession” before the world. But once the complete submission of the current dauphin, vice president Miguel Diaz-Canel, to the government’s hardline was secured, the soup was ready to be served.
Many foresaw it. Personally, I always doubted Castro Espín’s intentions to stand for President in 2018. To take for granted such a step was to underestimate the chameleonic capacity for mimicry of a dictatorship like the Cuban one, which has never needed to expose itself so crudely.
Baring oneself and putting one’s true dynastic vocation on display is something that does not go with the style of the Birán clan. Those would be pathetic vulgarities that would be expected from cartoons like Kim Jong-un from his Pyongyang headquarters, but not from the fine boys in Havana.
Here in the tropics the minions of my people have been incomparably more creative and subtle. For one thing, they have squandered a considerable part of our heritage — the part they did not manage to hide in Switzerland — in putting together one of the most extensive and paralyzing intelligence apparatuses in the world. This apparatus, “coincidently,” now happens to be in the hands of Castro Espín, which suggests a quiet hurricane season for 2018.
That Raúl Castro will continue to govern the island from his position as First Secretary of the Communist Party no one doubts, not even those dumber than a plank; that is something already written in the Bible. However, it might seem confusing to those who evaluate the Cuban reality from the outside and do not understand that in this country the People’s Power has never ruled, since who really calls the shots here is the Supreme Party.
From the seat of the Central Committee the only legal party in Cuba dictates by decree all the country’s policies, without exception, which are then presented before the most docile and indecent “Parliament” in the world, where they are all are ratified by unanimous agreement.
With this farce guaranteed no one should doubt that as of this April the real leader will continue to be Raul Castro from his position at the head of the Communist Party. After all, this is what he’s trained his henchmen for.
From his strategic position at the head of the “mega-firm” GAESA, his former son-in-law General Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Callejas today monopolizes two thirds of the Cuban economy through direct control of the largest and most lucrative corporations in the country, practically all managed by the military.
On the other hand his son, the aforementioned Colonel Castro Espín, for several years now has been the main depository of every secret of the fearsome Cuban intelligence and counterintelligence, with all of its enormous power of penetration, threat and blackmail.
Looking at the matter in persepctive, one arrives at the obvious conclusion that everything will be in-house, and Raul Castro will be “retired” from the government, with everyone’s back well-covered. That is why this mafia will not need to expose itself to the public light: to maintain an absolute control it will be enough to put any marionette on the stage and let him perform his clowning before the world.
It could be Diaz-Canel, Esteban Lazo, or even someone as gray as Bruno Parrilla, and they might just as easily have summoned from among the deceased Enrique Arredondo, Teófilo Stevenson or Agustín Marquetti, it would not matter. It would be the least important detail because none of them, neither those nor these, would be able to decide absolutely anything during the buffoonery that Cuba will witness during the next five years.
So after this next five-year term, looking ahead to the “elections” of 2023, the true intentions of the family clan will be clear, because by then all the police and propaganda apparatus of power will be turned over to progressively imposing Alejandro Castro Espín as successor to the throne.
Anyone who wants to see the picture most clearly can pour water on it. They will have time to prepare their shells according to the regulations of Castro Primero, having passed through Castro Segundo, with this “democratic” five-year bypass — called to convince the most naive that in Cuba there never existed a North Korean style dynastic socialism — until the final and strategic consummation of the plan: a third Castro president starting 2023, and with obvious intentions to perpetuate himself in power. Who knows? It could be for another 50 years.
Once this is understood, to calibrate the final formula it is enough to add the classic 0.5% of informants and repressors estimated as sufficient in the dictatorship manuals, and scatter them along each street of this little island; all that cream of unscrupulousness floating on the dung heap of opportunism which is never lacking in these situations; as well as the dozens of loyal retired generals actively guarding their little scraps of power, among other disgraces, all of this emanating from Castroism.
Let us remember José Martí: The bad only triumph where the good are indifferent. Many other variables influence this dynamic, of course, but among the most important, undoubtedly, are the immobility and indolence of all the current generations of Cubans, the institutionalized apathy and the absolute civic apathy in which this country has sunk, and the ignominy and greed that still threaten to perpetuate miseries on the exhausted remains of the Cuban nation.