By Circles Robinson
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.