BY ALBERTO DE LA CRUZ
On the Friday of the last weekend in February, Cuban dictator Raul Castro caught the news agencies covering his island nation by surprise when he dropped a hint that he was thinking of retiring. Later that Sunday, at a meeting of Cuba’s communist National Assembly, Castro went much further and announced that he would step aside at the end of the five-year presidential term to which he had just been “elected.” Adding fuel to the fire was the announcement that Miguel Diaz-Canel, a relatively unknown 52-year-old communist party apparatchik, had been appointed Castro’s second in command—and would thus theoretically be next in line to take command after the aging dictator’s exit.
Naturally, journalists, analysts, and so-called Cuba experts immediately began to explore the possibilities and ramifications. Many of them proposed the Western Hemisphere’s bloodiest and longest-running dictatorship was now possibly just five years away from its end. ... Read More