Why Fidel and not Raul?

By Circles Robinson

Fidel and Raul Castro at a session of the Cuban parliament on February 24, 2013. Photo: granma.cubaweb.cu

HAVANA TIMES — Many of our readers speculate on the influence of Fidel Castro, 87, on the government of his brother Raul, 82, and the Communist Party of Cuba.

Some think he is highly influential on foreign policy matters, others think he also has veto power of domestic issues. Yet others believe his participation is now only protocol, attending to visiting dignitaries and occasionally making a public appearance to let his supporters know he is still up and around.

Since taking over the helm, temporarily in 2006 and officially in 2008, Raul Castro has carried out an anti-corruption campaign that has swept away many of Fidel’s chief civilian lieutenants and replaced them with his trusted military officers.

He also put an end to Fidel’s “Battle of Ideas” programs and replaced them with an economic reform agenda approved by the last Communist Party Congress in April 2011.

Raul has at times referred to Fidel as his chief advisor; but to what extent that is really the case is unknown, cloaked in official secrecy.

As the editor of a publication which usually publishes the complete speeches and writings of both Fidel and Raul Castro, it is odd that the government/party almost never sees fit to translate into other languages, or at least English, the speeches by Raul Castro.  Meanwhile every word uttered or written by Fidel appears in a wide range of languages, usually the same day it is published in Spanish.

To give our readers an idea, on the government website: “Reflections by Fidel Castro” virtually everything he has written over the last seven years, since he began his “Reflections”, is available in Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Italian, German, Russian and Arabic.  The same goes for Fidel’s speeches from 1999 to 2006.

In the case of Raul Castro on the site with his speeches dating from 2008 to 2014, it’s curious that only one of 15 speeches in the last three years has been deemed by the government worthy of translating, and that only into English.

Since there is nobody to ask the question in the title of this article “Why Fidel and not Raul”, I’ll leave it to our readers.

15 thoughts on “Why Fidel and not Raul?

  • April 1, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I am a true capitalist but if you call supporting universal health care and access to free quality public education being a socialist, I guess I am sympathetic as well. Labeling President Lincoln and Dr. King as socialists may make you feel better, but the fact is that the real socialists, Stalin, Mao, and Castro are whom history will remember as the poster children that have ultimately done more harm than good for the people forced to live under their respective regimes.

  • April 1, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Hi there, I have bad news for you; Abraham Lincoln was sympathetic to socialism – look it up – and the International Workingmes association of Europe, of which Karl Marx was secretary, was a strong supporter of the Union forces. Martin Luther King Jr. was also a socialist. Fidel is also in that tradition; the fact that U.S. embargo and endless destabilization attempts have damaged Cuba also proves nothing. Education, Literacy, and equality vastly improved through socialism in Cuba. Rhetorical flourishes like ‘nice try but a fail’ prove nothing.

  • March 31, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Nice try but a fail. Abraham Lincoln spoke of the virtues that reflected the best in man. He spoke against the mechanisms in society that favored the privileged. Fidel speaks against mechanisms that favor the hard-worker, the innovator and the man willing to sacrifice his today for a better tomorrow. Fidel energizes the desires in some men who have failed at competing fairly to resort to taking what they have been told should have been theirs. His speeches don’t inspire men to excellence but to mediocrity. Look to Cuban productivity as the result of Fidel’s inspiration.

  • March 31, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Hi there, You are right: Abraham Lincoln is another example. The ‘crybaby’ slaves made him their hero; just as the hardworking impoverished ‘crybaby’ penniless sugarcane workers made Fidel a hero. By your account, 95% or so of U.S. people are also crybabys including the 40 million who, due to the economic crisis brought on by wallstreet, cannot buy enough food and must use insufficient government food stamps. A million Iraqus who died thanks to the support people like you gave to the U.S. invasion are also ‘crybabys’ Enough said.

  • March 26, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    “His hours-long speeches were listened to and taken to heart by a people who had been waiting a long time for those messages.” Hahahahahahahahaha! You really don’t know any Cubans do you?

  • March 26, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Find a Cuban, any Cuban, and ask them what “teachings” of Fidel that they have taken to heart. He was a frickin’ dictator, not some guru who discovered the meaning of life. You are sooooo clueless!

  • March 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    John wrote,

    “I recently reread one speech /interview with a U.S. magazine in which he repeated that Cuba cannot and never had tried to foment revolution”

    You do realize that Fidel has always been a consummate liar, right? Only a fool would take him at his word.

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