Fidel still the spider at the centre of the Cuban web, but Chavez worries what will come after Fidel

18 03 2009

CNN carried a story yesterday that gives a glimpse into the intriguing relationship between fast-friends Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.   Former Mexican Foriegn Minister Jorge G. Castaneda postulates in the current issue of Newsweek that Chavez is worried Fidel’s brother Raul (who took over day-to-day control of the State from Fidel in 2006 and offically became Cuba’s President in February of 2008) will be forced to make economic and political concessions to the United States because:

“… they [the supposed coup plotters] also feared that the leader was beginning to feel threatened by the reaction of the Cuban people to excessive economic and social deprivation, and after his brother’s demise would be unable to control the flow of events. Consequently, he would accept a series of economic and political reforms to normalize relations with the United States….”They believed this to be a betrayal of the revolution, and the beginning of the end of its survival.”

Castaneda thinks the reason two highly placed officials were replaced by Raul because they were plotting a coup against him – at the instigation of Huga Chavez!  Raul apparently got Fidel’s approval for the removals.  No word on how Fidel felt upon learning that someone he desribed this way:  “We are like brothers” was plotting to overthrow his actual brother.

Castaneda seems to think Fidel is looking out for his younger sibling by sending coded messages of thanks and warning to Latin American leaders:

[…] Castaneda points to an “enigmatic” comment former leader Fidel Castro made in a column after the two men were removed.

“He resorted to a baseball metaphor on the occasion of the World Baseball Classic to praise Dominicans for not participating (the team’s plans had been unclear) and to claim that Chavez‘s baseball players, ‘as good and young’ as they might be, were no match for ‘Cuba’s seasoned all-stars,’ ” Castaneda wrote in the Newsweek article.

Castaneda says Castro was thanking Dominican President Fernandez and sending a veiled message to Chavez.

Only time will tell.

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