March 28, 2023


Raul Castro leaving Cuban presidency, not power

HAVANA – Raul Castro remains in power although is stepping down from Cuba’s presidency.

The 86-year-old former rebel remains head of Cuba’s Communist Party, a position that leaves him with broad authority — including much oversight of Miguel Diaz-Canel, the man who is replacing him as president. Castro is expected to remain in this position until 2021.

Raul Castro will remain first secretary of the Communist Party, head of the 17-member Political Bureau and the Central Committee. Committee members are elected from lists approved by the leadership, therefore there is no opposition.

Cuba’s single-party system gives the Communist Party a role vastly more important than in any multi-party country, and it’s often hard to tell where the party stops and government begins.

The constitution defines the party as “the superior guiding force of society and the state,” directing it to organize society toward the construction of socialism.  Party officials control or work with government authorities and the military.  The party runs multiple organizations which coordinate all activities of every single Cuban child and student, children belong to the government not the parents.  Workers have to be members of the Communist Party labor union and every newspaper and magazine is run by the party.

Díaz-Canel’s most extensive comments came in a video that was leaked and posted on YouTube last year by Cuban dissident Antonio Rodiles. In the video, Díaz-Canel said the embassies of the United States, Norway, Spain, Germany and Britain supported “subversive activity” on the island. And he vowed to crack down on dissidents and independent media, saying they were paid by foreign actors to foment dissent.

The poor people of Cuba will not see any change from this theatrical change, Díaz-Canel is an extremist and retrograde person that will keep Cuba in chains.