Raúl Castro’s China Strategy

Raúl Castro’s strategy is to pursue pro-market economic reforms under continued Communist rule, with no progress on democracy or human rights. But that is unacceptable in Latin America, which has made huge progress in transforming advances in democracy and respect for human rights into a regional legal order.

MEXICO CITY -- Fidel Castro’s resignation from two of his three leadership posts, together with the appointment of his younger brother, Raúl, as his successor, marks the end of an era…sort of. Raúl replaced Fidel as President of the Councils of Ministers and of State, but not as First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party. And, in a scene worthy of the glory years of Stalinism, Raúl received the unanimous permission of Cuba’s “parliament” to consult with Fidel on all major issues.

As long as Fidel is around – writing, meeting foreign dignitaries, and weighing in on everything from ethanol to the American presidential campaign – two things will remain clear. First, Raúl will barely be able to budge even on the modest, strictly economic and regulatory reforms that he hopes, somewhat naïvely, will put food back on Cubans’ table.

Second, while the succession arrangement that the Castros designed years ago has the advantage of stability and predictability, Raúl will be unable to replace the old guard with younger leaders (his successor in the Armed Forces is 72 and his vice-president is 77). Doing so would give whomever he chooses an edge when Raúl, who is 76, passes on, and he and Fidel do not necessarily agree on who should come next.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/LeDuYCp;
  1. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Angela Merkel’s Endgame?

    The collapse of coalition negotiations has left German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing a stark choice between forming a minority government or calling for a new election. But would a minority government necessarily be as bad as Germans have traditionally thought?

  2. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.

  3. A GrabBike rider uses his mobile phone Bay Ismoyo/Getty Images

    The Platform Economy

    While developed countries in Europe, North America, and Asia are rapidly aging, emerging economies are predominantly youthful. Nigerian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese young people will shape global work trends at an increasingly rapid pace, bringing to bear their experience in dynamic informal markets on a tech-enabled gig economy.

  4. Trump Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Profiles in Discouragement

    One day, the United States will turn the page on Donald Trump. But, as Americans prepare to observe their Thanksgiving holiday, they should reflect that their country's culture and global standing will never recover fully from the wounds that his presidency is inflicting on them.

  5. Mugabe kisses Grace JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images

    How Women Shape Coups

    In Zimbabwe, as in all coups, much behind-the-scenes plotting continues to take place in the aftermath of the military's overthrow of President Robert Mugabe. But who the eventual winners and losers are may depend, among other things, on the gender of the plotters.

  6. Oil barrels Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Getty Images

    The Abnormality of Oil

    At the 2017 Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, the consensus among industry executives was that oil prices will still be around $60 per barrel in November 2018. But there is evidence to suggest that the uptick in global growth and developments in Saudi Arabia will push the price as high as $80 in the meantime.

  7. Israeli soldier Menahem Kahana/Getty Images

    The Saudi Prince’s Dangerous War Games

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is working hard to consolidate power and establish his country as the Middle East’s only hegemon. But his efforts – which include an attempt to trigger a war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon – increasingly look like the work of an immature gambler.