5.3.09

Castro cleans inner circle - yet again

Fidel Castro reveals himself once again as a creature of habit and specifically of those which have allowed him to crush all internal opposition. We saw it when he imprisoned fellow revolutionaries such as Huber Matos and Mario Chanes in 1959, for 20 and 30 years respectively. We saw it when he appointed Manuel Urrutia as President (violating the Constitution he professed to have fought to reinstate as well as the promise of elections) and then forced his resignation. We saw it when he fired his foreign Minister Roberto Robaina, his protegé. We saw it when he tried and executed General Ochoa, the Commander of Cuban Armed Forces in Angola. There are almost countless examples. We saw it very recently when his personal secretary was demoted to librarian.

Today we see it with Carlos Lage, Vice President of the Council of State and Felipe Perez Roque, the regime's Foreign Minister.

In his reflection on the matter, Fidel first distanced himself from them, as he habitually does, clarifying that he never chose them personally. Lage's is an 'elected' office. Then, without mentioning their names, he accuses them (who else?) of having committed 'indignities' and of daring to have the ambition to taste the 'honey of power' without suffering the sacrifices, presumably as Castro has. He further accuses them of making promises to 'external enemies'. Who could he be referring to if not the United States? Who are they accused of making their promises to? We know Richard Lugar recently sent emissaries to Cuba. Could it be to them? What does Congressman Lugar have to say?

As should be expected, the second and third paragraphs of their letters of resignation are almost identical. They confess their absolute guilt and the justice of the accusations while promising to remain 'faithful to Fidel, the Party ..." and to Raul Castro, the addressee.

Yet there are still many who spuriously argue that things in Cuba have changed, that the embargo should be lifted and that business will be good with the Castros, even if Cubans remain under his gun.

What could the deposed ministers have promised the external enemy that Castro just can't afford? If Congressman Lugar knows, isn't he morally obligated to disclose it? If he knows and he doesn't disclose it, what weight should be given to his argument that the embargo just doesn't work?

Here are both ministers' letters as published by Juventud Rebelde today:

Vice President's Lage's resignation letter:


Foreign Minister's Perez Roque's Resignation letter:

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