Humberto Fontova

The MSM is all aflutter, atwitter and agape over Cuba’s Communist Party “Congress” this week where Fidel Castro (84), former Cuban “President,” and “First Secretary of Cuba’s Communist Party,” officially “resigned” his position as “First Secretary of Cuba’s Communist Party.”

In February 2008 Fidel Castro had already officially “resigned” as “President,” while retaining his position as “First Secretary of Cuba’s Communist Party.” His baby brother Raul (79), “President” of Cuba since 2008, and former “Second Secretary of Cuba’s Communist Party” supposedly now succeeds Fidel, as “First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party” as he had succeeded his brother as “President” back in 2008.

(Splash some cold water on your face and stick with me for just a little more.)

But back in July, 2006 upon the onset of his intestinal illness, Fidel had supposedly already “transferred his duties as President” to his brother Raul, who became “President of the Council of State,” while formerly he reigned only as the lowly, “First Vice President of The National Assembly of the Popular Power” and as “First Vice President of the Council of Ministers” along with “Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces.”

Fidel Castro’s former position as “President of the Council of State”, “President Council of Ministers and “Commander in Chief of Cuba’s Armed Forces,” has not been clarified by the intrepid “reporters” bestowed Castroite visas.

(Please slap yourself awake so we can continue.)

Raul Castro in turn, was succeeded as “Second Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party” by his longtime toady Ramon Machado (80), formerly “First Vice President of Cuba’s Council of State.” Machado, in turn was replaced as “Second Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party” by Ramiro Valdes, formerly serving his nation in various posts including “Minister of the Interior”, “Vice-Prime Minister” and “Minister of Informatics and Communications.” Also…..

Forgive me. No doubt you’re becoming stuporous while reading this faster than I did while writing it. So lets’ turn to the Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign affairs, Ileana Ros Lehtinen for a snappier wrap-up:

“Whom are they kidding? Shifting the chairs on the Titanic will do nothing to prevent the sinking of the Cuban regime. The sham perpetuated by the Castro brothers has no end and it represents a continual atrocious affront to the entire Cuban nation. The current tyrant Raul Castro, who has misruled Cuba since his brother ceded power, takes over as chief of the Communist Party from the prior tyrant Fidel Castro and they announce this as ‘changes.’ Whom are they kidding? They have been in power for 52 repressive years.

The so called ‘Congress’ of the Community Party is anything but a Congress as the agenda and all the decisions have been previously agreed to by the ruling and aging dictators. The Cuban people deserve much better than these old and tired despots who refuse to accept that they have failed miserably.

The octogenarian tyrants know their policies are a disaster that have led Cuba into the hole in which it finds itself. Freedom and liberty will come to Cuba and the actions of those who tried to impede its arrival will be harshly condemned by history.”

Lest we forget, the MSM ( especially the intrepid outfits bestowed Havana Bureaus) were equally aflutter, atwitter and agape back in 2008 when Fidel had “resigned” as “President of Cuba ” but retained his position as “First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party,” and even earlier in July 2006, when he resigned upon his health hiccup. “Major reforms” were in the offing, we were assured by the MSM and their pet Cuba “experts” and “analysts.”

Then came a report by Human Rights Watch last year titled “New Castro/ Same Cuba” and whoops! “Raúl Castro’s government has used draconian laws and sham trials to incarcerate scores of people who have dared to exercise their fundamental freedoms," it summarized. “Rather than dismantle this repressive machinery, Raúl Castro has kept it firmly in place and fully active.”

Indeed for almost two decades the aforementioned Ramiro Valdes was Cuba’s supremely efficient “Minister of the Interior,” (Chief of the Secret Police.) Here he officially took over his friend Che Guevara’s unofficial role as main conduit with the KGB.

But Ramiro Valdes’ toadyism towards the Castros dates from way back in July 1953 when he was among the bona-fide attackers of the Castro-planned attack on Cuba’s Moncada Military barracks. (Both Fidel and Raul managed to evade even a whiff of gunpowder during this attack, by the way.)

Ramon Machado’s toadyism to the Castros dates from the Castro’s subsequent (bogus) guerrilla war against (bogus) dictator Batista, who relinquished power at age 57. Despite his regime’s corruption and sporadic (and mostly retaliatory) brutality, Batista left a Cuba boasting a higher standard of living than half of Europe, the 13th lowest infant-mortality on earth and tens of thousands of immigrants, mostly from Europe, clamoring to enter Cuba and thus escape their relative impoverishment.

Batista died in exile at age 73, with Castro’s Cuba jailing more political prisoners than the Soviet Union, murdering more Cubans than Hitler murdered Germans during the Night of Long Knives, with more Cubans dead trying to escape their homeland than died escaping East Germany--and with Cuba’s standard of living repelling Haitians.

“Castro has done good things for Cuba.” (U.S. Sec. of State Colin Powell, April 26, 2001)

Upon assuming the “Presidency” this week Raul Castro vowed: "I assume my post to defend, preserve and continue perfecting socialism, and never permit the return of capitalism."


Humberto Fontova

Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit www.hfontova.com.