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Author Topic: Re: BREAKING NEWS - Fidel hands power to Raul  (Read 11640 times)

Offline flopnfly

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Re: BREAKING NEWS - Fidel hands power to Raul
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2006, 10:09:00 PM »
I would love to be in Cuba right now, it must be crazy there.  I'm sure that nobody is talking, but the excitement and anticipation must be killing them.
 
 Gossip around the water cooler is that Castro is either already gone, or on his last legs and they aren't admitting it.      :D
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Offline Canuks

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Re: BREAKING NEWS - Fidel hands power to Raul
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2006, 10:11:00 PM »
That seems to be the feeling if you listen to the American news - maybe not so I understand if listening to other European world news.
happy to find this forum

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Re: BREAKING NEWS - Fidel hands power to Raul
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2006, 10:39:00 PM »
I wonder if his brother has made any public appearances today in his new position?

Offline Steve_YYZ

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Re: BREAKING NEWS - Fidel hands power to Raul
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2006, 10:48:00 PM »
News around the water cooler.....
 
   -

Offline Bulldog

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Re: BREAKING NEWS - Fidel hands power to Raul
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2006, 12:36:00 AM »
And we are allowed to speculate here as well   :D

Offline flopnfly

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Re: BREAKING NEWS - Fidel hands power to Raul
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2006, 05:43:00 AM »
Quote
Originally posted by Bulldog:
  And we are allowed to speculate here as well    :D  
Bulldog, nobody really knows the true facts except Castro himself, so everything you hear and read is speculation of some sort.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Offline flopnfly

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Re: BREAKING NEWS - Fidel hands power to Raul
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2006, 07:12:00 AM »
I think we need to send our resident photographer Steve, over to Havana to find out the truth.  
 
 You know what they say, a picture speaks a thousand words.
 
 We can get up to the minute news from our "Man in Havana"     :D
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

millybess

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Re: BREAKING NEWS - Fidel hands power to Raul
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2006, 09:46:00 AM »
Very interesting article in  TIME on Raul.
 
 Why Raul Castro Could End Up a Reformer
 
 The Cuban dictator's brother has long been known as Fidel's enforcer. But at 75, he is also less rigid and confrontational, and may have little choice but to open the island's economy
 By TIM PADGETT/MIAMI AND DOLLY MASCARENAS/MEXICO CITY
 
 When the Bush Administration began delivering hundreds of suspected al-Qaeda terrorists to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo, Cuba, in 2002, most in Washington expected Cuban President Fidel Castro to go ballistic. He didn't. And according to vetÿÿeran Cuba watchers like former CIA analyst Brian Latell, it was Fidel's younger brother, Defense Minister Raul Castro, who kept the communist dictator's anti-yanqui rants in check. Going further, Raul even assured reporters that if any Guantanamo prisoners escaped, Cuban security forces would capture and return them — a gesture that left much of the international community scratching its head.
 
 Raul Castro has always been known as Fidel's enforcer — the ideologically hard-line, iron-fisted watchdog of his big brother's regime. It's hardly an undeserved rep, one he started building by overseeing the summary execution of scores of soldiers loyal to former Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista after Fidel overthrew Batista in 1959. But as Raul, 75, takes control of that government this week — at least, according to an official communiqué, until Fidel recuperates from major surgery to stop intestinal bleeding — Washington may be straining for more signs of his lesser-known side.
 
 Indeed, Raul is also called "the practical Castro," and when and if he does succeed Fidel permanently, many Cuba watchers speculate that he'll actually bring a less confrontational, more reform-minded rule to the communist island. "I think he will try to adopt more of a China economic model, probably continuing much of the harsh political regime but allowing more private enterprise and loosening foreign investment rules," says Latell, a senior researcher at the University of Miami's Cuba Institute and author of the recently published book After Fidel. "And I think he's also going to want better relations and more dialogue with the U.S."
 
 Publicly, Bush Administration officials say that wouldn't be enough to lift Washington's 44-year-old economic embargo against Cuba. They insist that Raul, even if he does open Cuba's threadbare economy, is every bit the unacceptable tyrant Fidel is — someone who promises more of the autocratic status quo than any kind of democratic transition. But privately, some admit they prefer the prospect of a Raul interregnum to the kind of post-Fidel chaos that could result in tens of thousands of Cubans rafting into South Florida — just the sort of diplomatic and logistical crisis that has long spooked U.S. Presidents as much as Fidel Castro himself has. The U.S. also has to worry about a flood of joyous Cuban exiles suddenly heading back to their homeland and potentially exacerbating the chaos there, though the U.S. believes it has a solid Coast Guard plan to prevent that.
 
 The 1996 Helms-Burton law essentially prohibits the U.S. from dealing with Raul if he succeeds Fidel. But some State Department officias confide that if Raul does take reform steps and reaches out to the U.S., it would be the height of folly for Washington to remain on the sidelines, no matter how many votes that might preserve in the politically potent Cuban exile community in South Florida.
 
 In truth, Raul really has little choice but to be practical. He is known to be more down-to-earth and sociable than Fidel — unlike Fidel, he loves to drink, dance and tell ribald jokes — and he has been Fidel's most trusted No. 2 since they were guerrillas fighting in Cuba's eastern Sierra Maestra in the 1950s. But Raul enjoys little if any of the mystical popularity that Fidel still retains, at least among older Cubans, and which has helped keep him in power since his 1959 revolution. That's a big reason why the government in recent months has engineered a p.r. makeover for Raul that included a lengthy article in the official mouthpiece, Granma, highlighting his warm and fuzzy side as a family man and grandfather. But that may not do the trick. To forge a viable connection with Cuba's 11 million beleaguered people, many analysts believe Raul will also have to loosen their leashes more than Fidel ever allowed.
 
 At a military celebration last month, Raul, who became a communist as a youth, well before Fidel, insisted that "only the Communist Party" can rule Cuba and "anything else is pure speculation." But at the same time, Raul may carry more perestroika in his political DNA than Fidel does. When the Soviet Union's lavish economic aid to Cuba disappeared in the early 1990s and many Cubans faced possible starvation, Raul convinced a reluctant Fidel to reopen the island's private agricultural markets as an incentive to increase food production. "Beans are more important than rifles," he insisted. Latell agrees: "It was Raul, not Fidel, who realized that Cuba was going to have to pursue economic reforms to survive" and he put many of his military officers in charge of new enterprises like tourism. In After Fidel, Latell writes that Raul, "unlike his brother, has never been motivated by an ego-charged quest for fame and glory or internationalist gratification. He does not thrive on conflict and confrontation as Fidel has since childhood. He worries more about the economic hardships the Cuban people endures, and is likely to more flexible and compassionate in power."
 
 Other veteran Cuba analysts, not surprisingly, insist that this is too charitable a characterization of a man so long associated with an oppressive military and security apparatus, responsible for imprisoning and in many instances torturing thousands of dissidents. And a number of factors could keep Raul on the hard line even after Fidel dies. For one thing, the largesse of Fidel's left-wing and oil-rich ally, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, has helped significantly to keep Cuba's economy afloat, lessening the urgency of economic reforms that many had expected under Fidel in recent years. (Cuba may also be buoyed by recent discoveries of ample crude reserves off its own coast.) What's more, just beneath Raul sit a number of younger and ideologically purer communist officials, like 40-year-old Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, who are known derisively by many Cubans as "los Taliban" and could limit Raul's room to maneuver on any potential reform.
 
 For now, however, the Cuban government insists that Raul's hold of the reins is temporary, perhaps just a few weeks or months until Fidel is back on his feet. In all his 47 years in power, Fidel, who turns 80 on August 13, has never ceded power like this to anyone. And when asked why, if Fidel really is still alive, he would so uncharacteristically let aides make such an important announcement rather than do it himself, reliable official sources in Havana insist that convalescence from his intestinal surgery requires that he do absolutely nothing but lie still in the following days, not even read a communiqué on air.
 
 Even U.S. intelligence officials caution that the jubilation in Miami1s Cuban exile community over Castro's imminent demise is "way too premature," says one. "At this point there's no reason to doubt what the Cubans themselves are saying about his condition." Pentagon and U.S. intelligence officials tell TIME they believe that Castro's operation occurred late last week — perhaps on Thursday or Friday — and that the Cuban government would not have announced the temporary transition arrangement unless it was sure that the dictator would pull through. Castro will have a lengthy convalescing period, these officials believe, during which his brother will have to make decisions and public appearances in his place. "This is a serious dry run of the their succession plan," another U.S. intelligence official says. "And they're looking at how the Cuban people and the international community reacts to Raul in charge." Sources in Cuba, however, dispute that notion and suggest the surgery only took place Monday morning of this week. Either way, even if Fidel should die in the coming days, Raul seems to represent the kind of unchaotic transition in Cuba that both Fidel and, frankly, the nine U.S. Presidents he has tormented since 1959, would prefer. —With reporting by Douglas Waller/Washington

Offline Bulldog

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Re: BREAKING NEWS - Fidel hands power to Raul
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2006, 03:05:00 PM »
Quote
Originally posted by flopnfly:
   
Quote
Originally posted by Bulldog:
  And we are allowed to speculate here as well     :D  
Bulldog, nobody really knows the true facts except Castro himself, so everything you hear and read is speculation of some sort. [/b]
I would hope a couple more people would know
   :D

Offline flopnfly

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Re: BREAKING NEWS - Fidel hands power to Raul
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2006, 09:52:00 PM »
Good article Millybess.
 
 It's interesting to read that Raul was behind the developing tourism in Cuba.  If that's true then we as tourists have noting to fear except maybe a few more Americans on the shores of Cuba.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Offline Bulldog

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Re: BREAKING NEWS - Fidel hands power to Raul
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2006, 04:37:00 AM »
Sister says Castro getting better
 Younger sister sees good and bad sides of ailing dictator
 
 Wednesday, August 2, 2006; Posted: 10:03 p.m. EDT (02:03 GMT)
 
 
 MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Fidel Castro is still "very sick" but no longer in intensive care, and he is expected to recover and take back the reins of Cuba, his sister Juanita said in Florida on Wednesday.
 
 Fidel Castro fell ill earlier this week, requiring him to undergo emergency intestinal surgery. He handed over the communist government's to his brother Raul, who is vice president and defense minister. It was the first time Fidel Castro had ceded control of Cuba in 47 years.
 
 Cuban television reported Tuesday that the Cuban leader was in "good spirits." But his hospitalization has nonetheless spurred a deluge of speculation, some saying that Castro is on his deathbed, others saying he's already dead.
 
 But Juanita Castro says her brother is "doing better" and she expects that Raul's executive appointment will be temporary.
 
 "He's very sick, but he's not dead," she said. "He is very sick, but he has left the ICU."
 
 She hasn't spoken to Castro since 1963, the year before she emigrated to Miami. But Juanita Castro said her information about her brother is accurate.
 
 "I have my way to know everything -- not everything, but some very important things," she said.
 
 Rumors about Fidel Castro's demise prompted many in Miami -- home to thousands of Cuban expatriates -- to take to the streets in celebration, a display Juanita Castro found distasteful, she said.
 
 "I am very disappointed," she said. "It is not necessary to make this demonstration."
 
 Juanita and Fidel Castro have rarely seen eye to eye. She said that in the the 1960s and 1970s she often criticized her brother over the thousands of political prisoners in Cuban jails or for what she called general subversion by Cuba throughout Latin America.
 
 In October 1968, six years after she left Cuba and nine years after the revolution that put Fidel in power, Juanita Castro took to the Miami airwaves and denounced her brother's government as "bankrupt, absolutist tyranny."
 
 Though she still opposes her older brother's politics, Juanita Castro said she is concerned about him.
 
 "The blood, it's very strong," she said. "He's my brother; I am worried that he is suffering."
 
 Fidel Castro has two brothers and four sisters.
 
 Juanita said she has a special perspective on her brother and sees him as two separate people: "as a Cuban dictator and, the other side, as my brother Fidel. It's the same blood."
 
 "This is a very strong feeling. I can't deny what I feel," she said.
 
 Asked whether she expected to see her brother, famed for his oratory skills, give another speech, she said, "I have no doubt, perhaps."
 
 http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/americas/08/02/castro.sister/index.html

Offline Bigjohn

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Re: BREAKING NEWS - Fidel hands power to Raul
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2006, 06:03:00 AM »
Quote
Originally posted by Bulldog:
  She hasn't spoken to Castro since 1963, the year before she emigrated to Miami.
 
 In October 1968, six years after she left Cuba....
 
 "The blood, it's very strong," she said.
 
 .... she said, "I have no doubt, perhaps."
 
 
When did she leave?
 
 She has not seen or talked to Fidel for 43 years. How strong is that blood?
 
 Her 15 minutes are up.
 
 Bigjohn.
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Offline That Woman

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Re: BREAKING NEWS - Fidel hands power to Raul
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2006, 08:42:00 AM »
Fidel’s message to the Cuban people and friends around the world
 
 I cannot invent good news, because that would not be ethical, and if the news were bad, the only one who is going to take advantage of that is the enemy. In the specific situation of Cuba, due to the plans of the empire, my state of health becomes a secret of state that cannot be divulged constantly; and the compatriots should understand that. I cannot fall into the vicious circle of parameters of health that constantly fluctuate throughout the day.
 
 I can say that the situation is stable, but any real evolution of one’s state of health requires the passing of time.
 
 The most that I can say is that the situation has to remain stable for many days before a verdict can be given.
 
 I am very grateful for all the messages from our compatriots and many other people in the world.
 
 I am sorry to have caused so much concern and trouble to friends throughout the world.
 
 In terms of my spirits I am perfectly well.
 
 What is important is that everything in the country is running and will continue to run perfectly well.
 
 The country is prepared for its defense by the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the people.
 
 Our compatriots will know everything in due time, as was the case when I had my fall in Villa Clara.
 
 We must fight and work.
 
 August 1, 2006, 5:30 p.m.
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Offline PastorAsh

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Re: BREAKING NEWS - Fidel hands power to Raul
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2006, 10:18:00 AM »
I just started a subscription to Macleans, so I'm looking forward to seeing an article next week on all this stuff. Should be interesting for sure.
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millybess

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Re: BREAKING NEWS - Fidel hands power to Raul
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2006, 01:34:00 PM »
Quote
Originally posted by PastorAsh:
  I just started a subscription to Macleans, so I'm looking forward to seeing an article next week on all this stuff. Should be interesting for sure.
It will be interesting to read about it from a Canadian and hopefully objective point of view.   :)