Raulito’s Plan to Inherit Power from His Grandfather / Juan Juan Almeida
Juan Juan Almeida, 19 December 2016 — With 2018 approaching, alarm
bells are already sounding over fissures in what was once the monolithic
unity of the Communist Party and weaknesses in the supposed cohesiveness
of Cuba’s royal family.
The long-awaited announcement of Raul Castro’s retirement has unleashed
an “every man for himself” and “looking out for number one” attitude
among those who, driven by the influence that supposedly comes from
proximity to power, are already lobbying to build a future from the
The fact that Raúl Guillermo Rodríguez Castro, more widely known as “The
Crab,” is one of the leading contenders seems like a joke. To gain
attention, he began promoting an incoherent platform which, to be
honest, makes him look more like someone with a propensity for blunders
who is planning an unsuccessful coup.
“Raulito is a moron. He lacks self-control so he acts first and thinks
later. But he is not completely clueless. He is trying to get out from
under the shadows by displaying his power, just like other aspirants for
the top job. He knows that by mid-2017, which begins in a few days, the
initial debate will begin on a successor to the post that everyone
covets: Secretary General of the Communist Party of Cuba,” says an
elderly member of the National Assembly of People’s Power.
An economist by training, of limited intellect and functionally impaired
from the use and abuse of steroids, he is equal parts embarrassment and
failure. Recently named head of the Department of Personal Security
(DSP), he tried to cement his support within the future government by
announcing that by the middle of next year he would raise the salaries
of the more than one thousand men who make up his personal army by fifty
pesos a month.
It is worth noting, as I wrote some time ago, that the DSP includes 1) a
traffic police unit, 2) a film unit, 3) a section devoted to
documentation and emigration procedures, 4) a foreign relations
department, 5) an anti-terrorist brigade, 6) sharpshooters, 7) divers,
8) explosive experts and 9) a medical department with clinics staffed
with doctors, nurses, radiologists, lab technicians, physical and
occupational therapists and specialists in other areas. Additionally, it
runs 10) a technology and telecommunications division, 11) manufacturing
workshops, 12) gymnasia, 13) a very efficient counterintelligence
service and even 14) an employment agency that hires personnel who go on
to work in the homes of the elite.
But rather than encouraging unanimity, the move is being viewed
unfavorably by members of the DSP, who are responsible for protecting,
guarding, spying on and taking care of Cuban leaders. Even with the
raise they have been promised, they will still earn less than members of
the special police unit working in popular tourist sites such as Plaza
de San Francisco, Plaza de Armas and Plaza de la Catedral as well as in
other areas in Old Havana.
The move has backfired. The discontent is such that soldiers and
officers of what was once the most powerful bureau in both the Ministry
of the Interior and in Cuba have handed in their resignations. This is
not a trivial issue.
This is the last game… there is no direct elimination, no quarterfinals.
Source: Raulito’s Plan to Inherit Power from His Grandfather / Juan Juan
Almeida – Translating Cuba –