Friday, July 20, 2007

"Positive political change is unlikely"

A friend handed me something that I missed last week: a comment on Cuba from the Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Thomas Fingar:

Fidel Castro’s protracted convalescence leaves the day-to-day governing responsibilities to his brother Raul. Key drivers in influencing events in post-Fidel Cuba will be elite cohesion in the absence of Cuba’s iconic leader and Raul Castro’s ability to manage what we assume to be high public expectations for improved living conditions. This year may mark the end of Fidel Castro’s domination of Cuba; but significant, positive political change is unlikely immediately. Although Raul Castro has solidified his own position as successor, it is too soon to tell what policy course he will take once Fidel has left the scene.

Fingar spoke July 11 to the House Armed Services Committee. His full statement is here (pdf, 22 pages). Just before this comment on Cuba is a more interesting passage on Venezuela, pp. 15-16.

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