Posts Tagged ‘Arturo Lopez Levy’

The End of the Castros?

| May 14th, 2013 | No Comments »
The American Spectator

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

Cuba under Raúl: He’s tinkered but it’s the same old machine

| February 25th, 2013 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

BY JUAN O. TAMAYO

As Cuban ruler Raúl Castro marks his fifth official year in power on Sunday, some Cubans might well be asking, like the U.S. advertising campaign, “Got Milk?”

In his first major speech after succeeding ailing brother Fidel, Castro declared that the government’s highly centralized and inept system for collecting and distributing milk was “absurd” and vowed to fix it.

Today, some towns are indeed getting not just more milk but also butter and cheese, yet others are no better off — mirroring the sharply contrasting assessments of the economic reforms Castro launched to dig the island out of its communism-induced quagmire.

Some Cubans say the newly allowed private economic activity already has made daily life a bit easier for most of the island’s 11.2 million people, with more sellers offering more goods and more buyers finding more of the goods they seek.

“Look, I see a lot of people smiling because ... Read More

“Cuba Experts” on the Wrong Side of History

| January 22nd, 2013 | No Comments »
InterAmerican Security Watch

“The Castro generation is slowly handing power over to the next generation of party and military leaders who will determine the pace and scope of the reform process.”

—    “Cuba Expert” Ted Piccone of the Brookings Institution, giving one reason why the United States should unilaterally change U.S. policy towards Cuba.

The Cold War had its “Sovietologists;” today we have the “Cuba expert” — and anyone seeking to understand the true nature of the Castro regime and the reality of events in Cuba is worse off for it.

Sovietologists, those presumed subject matter experts who were relied upon by the media for insight to the opaque politics and motivations of the former Soviet Union, are now pretty much a discredited lot.  Not because they couldn’t predict the collapse of the USSR, but because for years they grossly underestimated the moral bankruptcy of tyranny and the power of individuals who simply wanted ... Read More

Cuba’s next Defense Minister a puzzle

| September 8th, 2011 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

BY JUAN O. TAMAYO

Cuba’s next Armed Forces Minister will be an old comrade-in-arms of Raúl Castro. Or a younger man whose selection will hint at the island’s future leadership. Or a hardliner who will not hesitate to crush street riots.

And that is only part of the many strains of speculation sparked by the death last week of Gen. Julio Casas Regueiro, who succeeded Castro at the head of the Armed Forces Ministry (MINFAR) in 2008.

Casas, 75, fought alongside Castro in the guerrilla war against the Batista dictatorship and was long considered his most loyal No. 2 as well as MINFAR’s economic brain. He died from a reported heart attack.

Cuba watchers agree the job is critical: MINFAR now controls 60 percent of the economy, and its loyalty is required for Castro’s risky attempts to inject market efficiencies into the Soviet-styled economy.

The best candidate would appear to be Gen. Leopoldo Cintra Frías, ... Read More