Sunday, February 27, 2011

After Castro

Crumbling Castro

There is a Tunisia after Ben Ali. There is an Egypt after Mubarak. Sooner, there will be a Libya after Gaddafi. The question rising now in any western media today is: when will be a Cuba after Castro?

Nobody doubts about there will be a Cuba after Castro. That’s not a question in our democratic geography around the world. Dictators could hold their power to the end when they find the possibility to fortify themselves with theirs repressive institutions.

In Egypt, Mubarak couldn’t cling to power because the civilian attitude assumed by the military. Libya is a different story. Although some groups within the army had defected Gaddafi, the stronghold of his army still is loyal to the tyrant. And he had used them outrageously: bombing and massacring his own people with the full power of his loyalists.

The army has been the key component in the unrest of the middle-east and north-African countries. Protecting the protesters against Mubarak’s rage in Egypt or brutally slaughtering thousands of them in Libya.

In Castro’s land, however, there is a big question mark behind what could it be the role of the army in that case scenario. Will be the army a protector shield to their own people against the repressive forces institutionalized by Castro since 1959?

How many high rank officials will defect Castro's troops, paramilitary and loyalists in case Cubans decide to protest?

Another interesting question rising in Cuba’s horizon could be: how many of those loyalists, who every May the 1st march in the Civic Square in front of him,  will come out to defend him and support him in power?

Cuba is, nowadays, almost on the verge of an actual crisis similar as the one Egyptians and Libyans had suffered at the very moment of their unrest. The much-trumpeted reforms referred by western media are just the last resources possible to the regime, and there are only a tip of the iceberg that Cuba’ society needs.

How far the regime will go? A new China?

Castro’ support of Gaddafi in United Nations and in Cuba’s official propaganda system highlight how in panic they are and how far they will go to encase themselves against all the odds. It is in this scenario they reluctantly had agreed to “free” the group of 75 political prisoners of the 2003’s black spring. Exiling a big portion of them to Spain, whatsoever.

But the big question still is: when will be Castro’s fall in this dictators’ hunter season?

And after him, what kind of Cuba will we find?

A financially broken Cuba, it is a fact. 25 billion of dollars Castro's regime owes to Communist Russia. Who will pay that money?

Since 1986, Castro froze his payments to western companies who had invested in Cuba. How could be compensate those companies still waiting for their money since then?

Today, millions of oil barrels Venezuela gives to Castro for nothing. More than 700 million of dollars had been paid by Chavez’s government to obtain the 27 percentage invested by Italy in the Cuban Telephone and Communications Company. That’s the way Castro has in his hands the monopoly of the telecommunications between Venezuela and Cuba now, when the optical cable joins both countries. A cable paid and installed, again, by Chavez’s government. A cable that will not bring internet to all Cubans, but Castro's officials

What will be Cuba’s debt when Castro won’t be among the livings? How much money does Cuba owe to Venezuela? How could Cuba pay in its future after Castro?

Questions to tear apart more than one think-tank in this world. The only thing predictable here is the actual existence of a new Cuba after Castro. More than inevitable, it is a question of time and moment.

The clock is ticking around Africa. Regimes and friends too dearest to Cuba, to Castro are uprising a live after their rulers. The same will happen to Castro, sooner or later. It will come. The question is: When?