Ral Castro’s goodbye, at the worst moment

Updated Friday, April 16, 2021 – 19:59

The president, Miguel Daz-Canel, 60, replace Ral at the head of the “governing body of Cuban society”

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When Ral Castro designed the architecture of his succession at the head of the revolution, he could not even imagine that they would arrive at the VIII Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), inaugurated yesterday, in such precarious conditions: with an economic crisis so deep that it seems like a remake of the Special Period, with a pandemic that has wiped out tourism, with a monetary unification that has triggered inflation, with a social discontent that is measured every day in the networks, with the “sister” Venezuela in full debacle and with the strength of dissidents, intellectuals and young artists who fight for freedom before the eyes of the world.

Everything indicates that the president, Miguel Daz-Canel, 60, replace Ral at the head of the “governing body of Cuban society” and that when he finishes his second term, he will command the “soul of the revolution,” as Fidel called the PCC.

“To dream and continue a country. Here ideas are strengthened, history is recognized and the future is discussed”, Daz-Canel advanced in his social networks, before the “great appointment” was inaugurated with the conviction that “we will continue to be faithful to the legacy of our martyrs and to the example of Ral and Fidel“.

It remains to be seen if the young Castro takes up his promise to take care of his grandchildren and read a few books or if he remains in the shadows, as the nomenclature wants, to supervise his chosen one, in a Caribbean imitation of the Chinese Deng Xiaoping. The “imperialist enemy” is still there, less than 200 kilometers away; the long-awaited change of administration has not yet had the expected effects. In fact, from Washington these days they have made it clear that “Biden is not Obama in the policy towards Cuba.”

Ral’s farewell, about to turn 90, marks the communist conclave, which as a starting point will face a dichotomy that is difficult to fit: historical updating and continuity for a new era without the Castro brothers, but with Castroism. “It is a difficult task to resolve the contradiction that exists between continuity and change, which can only be solved in the virtual language of the dictatorship”, ironically Martha Beatriz Roque, an economist who was imprisoned by Fidel during the Black Spring.

For now both Ral and Daz-Canel have moved several chips in the last few hours. The former has changed the head of the Army from General Leopoldo Cintra Fras to General Álvaro López Miera, son of Asturian Republicans exiled in Cuba. Both are “Heroes of the Republic” and the circle closest to the former president.


From the government a change has been promoted so many times requested: that peasants can sell milk and meat in a country where those who slaughter cows were punished with prison and heavy fines. First, they must fulfill their “commitments” to the state.

A new generation is consolidating control. Now they will be forced to make important reforms, because their legitimacy does not come from a revolutionary background, but from being able to demonstrate better performance, “adds analyst Arturo Lpez Levy.

Under these circumstances, Congress began yesterday with the usual revolutionary pageantry. “The party constitutes a guarantee of national unity and synthesis of the ideals of dignity, social justice and independence of the generations of patriots who preceded us and those who have defended us in all these years of struggle and victory,” reaffirmed Ramn Machado, second secretary of the Central Committee of the PCC and candidate for retirement.

Among the tasks that communist delegates have, beyond new lines for economic orderingThere are those to confront the “subversion” that reigns in social networks and to combat the song Homeland and Life, which has permeated the new Cuban society.

“The underlying question is if the delegates will be able to discuss all those vital questions for the future of Cuba or if, on the contrary, they will continue to absolutely abide by the dictates of the historical leadership and the principles of the Revolution. I am afraid that this will be the way out, in turn the best way to update oneself in continuity, without changing anything of the essentials. As follow increasing the frustration of the young Cuban generations and the exit within the system that the new leadership could offer will be closed “, predicts Carlos Malamud, Latin American researcher at the Elcano Royal Institute.

The vast majority of Cuban society lives outside the Congressor, trying to solve his day to day, quite a feat. The most jokers translate the acronym PCC with “For When the Food.” “In Cuba, today, social disconnection and distrust in power and in the other is what drives our decisions. In Cuba we survive from the” I “. The concept of family, perhaps the only survivor of this social dynamic , has mutated with a narrower and more selective vision. The idea of ​​Cuban society crumbles along with the photographs on the balconies, which recall what was once a great country “, sums up Dariem Columbi, writer and national coordinator of the Otro18 Platform.

Cuba is today a nation in ruins, which is still in the hands of a family and a military leadership whose objective is to remain in power at all costs, “says the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights.

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