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    Neocastroism – A Tropical Dynasty

    Neocastroism: A Tropical Dynasty
    A. SOSA / ANTONIO G. RODILES | La Habana | 18 Abr 2016 – 1:57 pm.

    Dictatorial systems end up exercising public power like a private
    company. The elite trust no one, so family and personal ties are the
    only guarantee. Over the course of his protracted period in power Fidel
    Castro, the founder of the Castro dynasty, monopolized all the country’s
    top positions. And he consistently worked so that his younger brother,
    Raúl, was the regime’s second-in-command, and its head of Defense, a key
    position in the system’s structure.

    In 2006, when Castro was incapacitated, Castro II stepped forward and
    the system began to be promoted as the work of both Fidel and Raul, who
    mustered an entourage of senior officers who supported him in
    establishing the Second Front in March of 1958. But time is also running
    out for him, as he needs to make way for others who are able to sustain
    the structure. And that is where family is a sure bet. Therefore, Raúl’s
    regime has been characterised by the visibility his family has acquired.
    Gradually, the clan’s relatives have come to play public roles and
    occupy positions of power.

    The last of them to achieve visibility is MININT Colonel Alejandro
    Castro Espín, the current dictator’s son. Having participated, in a
    marginal role, in the war in Angola, under his father he was promoted to
    personal assistant and head of the Security Commission of the Assembly
    of the People’s Power, and rolled out before society at the Summits of
    the Americas (SOA). Since then he has been accompanying his father on
    different trips abroad, thereby cultivating a public image. When it
    comes to the organisational schemes of dynastic structures, the last can
    become the first.

    Alejandro is raulismo’s crown prince, but in order for power to be
    formally handed over to him it will be necessary to supplant a whole set
    of longstanding figures, who will probably be reluctant to take orders
    from an upstart. We have seen the retirement of many ageing leaders,
    especially in the military, the result not only of the necessary
    renewal, but also restructuring to ensure a a team more pliant to the
    heir, although he probably will not exercise power from the civilian
    sphere.

    No one can know exactly the real strategy that will be applied to keep
    the system standing. Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that an anodyne
    figure like Díaz-Canel will assume formal command after Raúl. The real
    power would remain in the shadows, with the construction of a profile
    enabling the heir to ultimately position himself with weapons at his
    disposal.

    The family’s control of vital sectors of the country is hardly something
    hidden or mysterious. Mariela Castro Espín ended up appointed the
    country’s first sexologist, a kind of “First Lady” in charge of social
    work for the system. She is a member of the National Assembly of the
    People’s Power and all her efforts have been dedicating to covering up
    and whitewashing the regime’s responsibility for years of homophobia and
    repression in the name of “socialist morality.”

    And Mariel’s performance does not only seek to furnish the system with a
    liberal face, as sex represents an important economic sector. The sex
    tourism industry seems to stand out in Cuba, controlled by the
    Government. During a trip to Holland the sexologist had praise for
    prostitution. This contrasts, however, with the Cuban regime’s official
    rhetoric over the years which cited to justify itself, among other
    things, the need to eradicate the sex trade as a scourge of the past.

    The eldest brother’s older brother, Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, after
    being removed from his post as head of Cuba’s nuclear program, spent
    some time keeping a low profile. He recently re-emerged as an authority
    within the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment,
    specifically in the areas of nuclear energy and nanotechnology. Castro
    Díaz-Balart’s interest in science points to the economic value that it
    can entail.

    The elder Castro’s other son, Antonio Castro Soto del Valle, went from
    being an unknown to overseeing sports medicine, and now serves as a
    baseball authority. The doctor’s interests transcend the sphere of
    national sports, as golf and fishing also fall within the scope of his
    affairs. Perhaps in the future he will become the czar of Cuban sports,
    with all this implies in terms of profits.

    Another important figure is Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Callejas, who
    controls the military business group GAESA. His role can be traced to
    his dissolved marriage to Raúl Castro’s eldest daughter Deborah. They
    say that to get anywhere in business in Cuba you have to be on good
    terms with the boss, and sons-in-law also have their corresponding slice
    of power in the realm.

    This panorama presents us with a family willing to and convinced that it
    is entitled to perpetuate itself in power. Two factors will be necessary
    in the scenario it wishes to construct. First, a docile opposition that
    accepts these moves as valid, or at least does not pose an uncomfortable
    challenge. Second, an international community willing to accept the
    elite it proposed, all veiled in a supposed spirit of changes and
    openness.

    After the Communist Party Congress the pieces on this board will begin
    to be moved more conspicuously. Whatever happens in the next few months
    will determine how this confrontation between the Cuban people and the
    Castro clan unfolds.

    Source: Neocastroism: A Tropical Dynasty | Diario de Cuba –
    www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1460984234_21763.html

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