Clouds of change over Cuba
July 27: Speech made by Raul Castro on the occasion of commemoration of 54 th anniversary of Cuban revolution gave clear indications of some ‘Change’ in his mind.
On Thursday Raul Castro addressed the nation as Fidel Castro is away from public life for exactly one year due to prolonged illness and in July only transferred power to his younger brother. He reflected some change on cards.
He reflected his wish to give Cuba a new direction by opening her economy for foreign investment so that technology capital or markets could flow to the country.
More pragmatic than his ideological elder brother his speech had capitalistic connotations and orientation where he wants to take the country as he admitted the rampant problems of pending pays of state-cadre.
At the same-time he also managed to lure the hard-liners saying that any new business transaction must not mitigate the role of the state and the predominance of socialist property.
In his speech he also mentioned that Fidel Castro’s sudden withdrawal from public life last year due to intestinal surgery gave enemies an opportunity to rejoice and expect the chaos in Cuba though their expectations were not materialized.
Fidel Castro’s absence from the annual event sent a clear message that Raul is now to advance his project without any impediment and is ready for reforms in economy as earlier he could never persuade his brother to open country for business for Cubans. Fidel always thwarted his plans for any such liberalization.
Economy was opened in 1990 owing to the disintegration of Soviet Union just for tourism businesses which are under Raul’s command.
His change of mind came to the fore when he suggested that US may play a role in new Cuba. He hinted at the negotiations he might have with the new administration of US after 2008 elections at the end of erratic and dangerous administration of Bush.
Raul showed a positive and flexible approach to US he might adopt in future if they accept the olive branch. He said “If next US government puts arrogance aside and decides to talk in a civilized fashion that is welcome. If not, we are prepared to continue facing their hostile policy for another50 years”
This is to be kept in mind since 1959 when Fidel Castro deposed a US backed ruler and sided with Soviet Union, US and Cuba became staunch enemies.
Fidel was reported to be in advisory role now by his younger brother. Raul has taken full charge of the country was very much obvious from his overtones of economic reforms, agricultural reforms and other structural changes he mentioned.
Though Fidel Castro still rules in the mind of people but the command of the country has been taken by his younger one who displays change on cards.
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