Monday, December 17, 2007

The retiring type?

Fidel Castro sent another message to the Mesa Redonda television program (text here), in which he gave his views on how the United States “maneuvered” in the Bali summit on climate change, and also addressed his future:

“My fundamental duty is not to hold on to positions, much less to block the way of younger people, but rather to bring experiences and ideas whose modest value come from the exceptional era in which I lived.”

Reuters story here, AP here, AFP Spanish here.

To my knowledge, this is the first time Fidel has addressed his future role. As President of the Council of State, President of the Council of Ministers, and head of the Communist Party, he has options. He seems to be hinting at an advisory, non-executive role, such as returning as a member of the Council of State – a decision he would have to make after the new National Assembly is seated next March – but not as its President.

9 comments:

HavanaJournal.com said...

Was it Celia Sanchez who told him something like "Win the children win the revolution"?

With the recent cambio movement and the students calling for private schools, there must be some serious pressure to bring in the younger generation.

1. They don't care about the Revolution.

2. How come Raul was not even mentioned?

I think this is a HUGE story.

Phil Peters said...

What it is, is a huge tease, and it will be a huge story when the decision is made, if the decision is for him to stop serving as Cuba's chief of state. I don't make much of the failure to mention Raul. This was about him musing that he might move into an advisory role. If that's the case next March, and if Raul moves up, the decision on the next vice president (and putative successor) will be the big story. It's also possible that both Fidel and Raul would decide to step aside and turn over the top jobs to the next generation.

leftside said...

Fidel is going to be a top advisor as long as he lives. His strategy and judgement is too schrewd, he has won too many battles to ever be dispensible. He didn't need to signal that. But I think the mention of "younger men" could be seen as a signal of Raul's possibly short stint.

And I agree with HJ that this should be a big story (it is for the moment - #2 on google news). The biggest reason is because it proves the conventional widsom wrong again (that Fidel is/was a power-hungry dictator). If more evidence emerges that Fidel is actually recupperating, rather than digressing - the confusion in Miami will be palatable.

Anonymous said...

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Fantomas said...

he has won too many battles to ever be dispensible.

Fidel castro has not won a single battle, not even the Moncada Attack he was one of the last to get in ..Many of the brave cubans died before him...

Of course he wont be able to join the 120 club, he will not be able to win that battle either

leftside said...

Fidel won the battle of Moncada by surviving. It was his genius that came up with that audacious plan to start the revolution...

Omar said...

I do agree that Fidel as the leader of the Cuban Revolution has been quite effective in making the world a better, fairer place.
If you are mildly honest, accept that all men are created equal and take a global perspective that´s is an unavoidable conclusion. If you scale down the analysis, are kind of self-centered and/or have had really hard experiences in your Cuban connection, then you will probably think differently. We all need to learn how to live together and to be in peace with our History. After all, it is full of meaninful dramas, no matter the side you chose to take.

HavanaJournal.com said...

Omar,

I'm guessing that you haven't been to Cuba or at least outside of Varadero.

Sure, everyone in Cuba is equal, equally poor. Is that fair?

If everyone has to live in jail their entire life, is that fair and a better place because the warden gives you free healthcare and education?

Healthcare that has no asprin and education so you can be a taxi driver?

Take your head out of your ass.

Alex said...

Agree w/r/t the tease, but maybe it won't be Raul moving up. Raul is the de-facto head of state, if that was the move there would be no need to mention "younger people". My guess is that after more than one year with Raul at the helm and no loss of power, they feel confident to go with part 2 of the succession plan: Raul back to the Army, sharing power with two or three of the top civilians (Lage, Alarcon, etc).

Leftside, seriously. Castro never power hungry? The accepted apologetic script is that he couldn't cede power because of imperialistic aggression.