Leadership: Things Are Not Looking Well In Cuba

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September 21, 2006: Things are not looking well in Cuba. Although he met privately for conversation and photo opportunities with many of the senior delegates, including Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro did not address the assembled delegates to the triennial conference of the "Non-Aligned Movement," when they met in Havana September 11-16. In addition, he did not attend a banquet, that he was scheduled to host, for the senior delegates. This further strengthens the impression that Castro's illness is far more serious than has been officially reported, and is likely to be terminal.
There also appear to be military and police preparations to cope with possible internal security problems when Castro dies. Among these have been very private talks with Venezuelan security officials, and even a hint that some of Chavez' secret police may be brought in to Cuba to lend a hand. In short, the Castroite apparatchiks may not be entirely certain as to the reliability of their own troops and police. Apparently some Cuban military and political leaders, although supporters of the regime, are also staunch nationalists, and are wary of close ties to Venezuela, seeing Chavez as a dangerous adventurer, who could endanger Cuban security.

 


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