Thursday, February 21, 2008

Is Castro's So-Called "Resignation" A Ruse?

Hold the presses, stop the videocameras! The Great Deceiver may have fooled us again.

Is Fidel Castro really retiring for good and always from all the posts which he has bestowed on himself in a life rich with such "distinctions?"

On Tuesday, Castro declared that he would not seek the office of president of the council of State and would relinquish his post as commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He presented his resignation in an article published in Granma. This made perfect sense since there is no person or organism in Cuba authorized to receive his resignation except Fidel Castro himself. He is, after all, the State. Having accepted his own resignation and reiterated his irrevocable determination not to convince himself to reconsider his decision nor allow anyone else to dissuade him ["I will neither aspire to nor accept, I repeat, I will neither aspire to nor accept the positions of President of the State Council and Commander in Chief"], he communicated the news to all and sundry in his occasional column formerly known as "Reflections of the Comandante" and henceworth to be known as "Reflections of Citizen Fidel." This news took most by surprise but satisfied few. In truth, it was not the news that most hoped to hear and had long anticipated since his late illness. Perhaps that was the reason that it was taken at face value. Maybe it shouldn't have been.

Castro's resignation did not mention the position which he has held the longest and which has traditionally been the most important in a Communist state. Castro nowhere relinquishes his duties as First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party. Yet when he transferred power provisionally to Raúl Castro on August 1, 2006, he listed that office first among those which he was delegating to Raúl:

"1) I delegate provisionally my duties as first secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party to the second secretary, comrade Raúl Castro Ruz.

"2) I delegate provisionally my duties as commander-in-chief of the heroic Revolutionary Armed Forces to the aforementioned comrade, Army Gen. Raúl Castro Ruz.

"3) I delegate provisionally my duties as president of the Council of State and of the government of the republic of Cuba to the first vice president, comrade Raúl Castro Ruz."

It would be hard to believe that Fidel's failure to mention his most important self-appointed post in his letter of resignation could be a careless omission on his part. It is as if the Queen of England had abdicated her titles as Defender of the Faith and Head of the British Commonwealth but forgotten to include her queenly title.

Fidel ended his last "Reflection" with the admonition that "this is not good-bye." Perhaps we should take him at his word, though nothing is more fraught with folly.


Vana said...

WOW! Manuel you always manage to blow me away!! let's hope it was an oversight from a feeble old man.

Anonymous said...

I never thought I'd see the day he'd give up power...But On The Other Hand I have never been fortunate enough to see a UFO. He's a notorious prankster.He likes to keep people wondering about his disintegrating life.

Ms Calabaza said...

"Having accepted his own resignation and reiterated his irrevocable determination not to convince himself to reconsider his decision ..."

I loved this line!

Charlie Bravo said...

He's played the resignation trick before.
And no, he didn't relinquish his more powerful title of Party Supreme Honcho.
He's just placing himself in the shadows like the puppeteer to control the marionettes. And that's on the bright side....

Cuban Angst said...

I have posted a letter written in response to Jose Basulto's letter on the "Shootdown" documentary at Cuban Angst. The letter is self-explanatory. This was forwarded to me because I went to high school with Carlos Costa's sister.

I do not try to take sides as I really don't know what happened that fateful day but I believe everyone's side should be heard.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

ms. calabaza:

I have read the unfortunate reply to José Basulto's criticisms of Cristina Khuly's tendentious documentary Shoot Down. Here is the URL for anyone else who may wish to:

José Basulto bears no responsibility or blame for the murder of Carlos Costa or the other Brothers to the Rescue. It was Fidel Castro who approved and Raúl Castro who gave the orders for the shooting of their plane over international waters. Costa's nephew's understandable sorrow does not give him the right to malign Basulto any more than Cindy Sheehan's grief over the death of her son in Iraq gives her the right to call Bush a murderer. It is not only unjust to do so, but cruel and malicious in the extreme. Khuly's documentary and this letter show that the families of at least 2 of the 4 victims have not been able to accept the fact that no one coerced or conned their relatives into flying on that mission and that all who undertook it were fully aware of the dangers it entailed and accepted even paying the ultimate price to advance the cause of humanity and Cuban freedom. To suggest otherwise is nothing less than to dishonor the memory of these heroes.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

P.S.: Of course, ms. calabaza, I thank-you for posting the letter because this kind of thing does the least harm when all are allowed the opportunity to judge it for themselves.

Ms Calabaza said...

Like I said, MAT I have no dog in this fight. I just thought I would post it because like you, I feel everyone has a right to their opinion.

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