A Friend and Cuban Military Official Just Sent Me an Email / Juan Juan
Juan Juan Almeida, 11 April 2016 — This will not just be the seventh
congress of a communist party condemned to being swallowed up by
history. It will be the last.
Cuba is a small island filled with dangerously blinding lights. All this
brightness dazzles the opposition. So much so that it cannot even manage
to capitalize on the discontent of eleven million Cubans.
This suggests to one segment of the exile community that the rhetorical
debate has shifted from victimhood to complicity, that it overestimates
a government that is losing power and is struggling to get itself out of
a grave that we, the people, have not been able or known how to dig.
But there are fireflies who carry on in the darkness, like a friend of
mine, who is an official in the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR). I
would like to share an email he just sent but, given his ample
political, military, intellectual and popular appeal, he prefers to
remain anonymous. I have not changed so much as a comma:
“April 16, 2016 will mark the start of the Cuban Communist Party
Congress in Havana. Numerically it is the seventh but alphanumerically
it is the last. Seven is a magical number in Egypt while it has an anal
connotation in charades and in the Cuban vernacular. This is where we
are. At the end of communism’s digestive tract. What emerges from this
congress will be nothing more than a nebulous and fetid outgrowth.
“Unlike previous events, this one two distinguishing characteristics: an
excess of secrecy and extemporization. No one seem able to answer two
questions directly. What will be discussed in these sessions and why
now? We can only speculate. And since speculation is the spice of
politics, here we go.
“Political journalists and some observers both inside and outside the
opposition are asking themselves if some ‘logical changes’ in Cuba’s
direction are being devised. Vocal opponents and silent opponents,
staunch supporters and timid supporters, and those of all political
stripes expect nothing of the sort. These supposed logical changes, the
necessary reforms, require a mental flexibility that Raul Castro and his
cronies do not have. To confuse the undeniable skill that Cuba’s leaders
have shown in holding onto power as a sign of Realpolitik would be a
“This congress is part of Raul Castro’s master plan. It is the next step
towards the ultimate goal. To retirement. The most important matter at
this event will be trying to deal with the tricky matter that socialist
governments throughout the world have had to confront: the problem of
succession. It is one aspect of his conspiratorial nature. He is trying
to pick the gerontocracy’s successors, people with no political base,
some of whom are the result of blatant nepotism. Many of them are
already in place. They are the dull, shadowy figures who repeat the same
old ideas that no one of their generation in Cuba believes anymore. A
straightforward public rollout of these people would have led to even
more discontent and disappointment in society.
“The other reason for this mysterious project is the immediate future.
The general idea is to maintain the status quo. In other words, to try
to consolidate state capitalism and to capitalize on a five-decades-long
hold on power. This has very little attraction for the Cuban people and
would further deepen the gap that separates them from the current
regime. Cuban leaders are smart enough to know that this project cannot
be discussed in public because it would contribute to an increase in
“All this fits perfectly with the issue of the timing of the congress.
You cannot impose new leaders and unpopular policies without suffering
the consequences. It takes patience and spit, and the first glob is the
congress. Before [Raul’s] permanent retirement after the general
elections there will be four sessions of the National Assembly in which
to implement the succession.”
Source: A Friend and Cuban Military Official Just Sent Me an Email /
Juan Juan Almeida – Translating Cuba –