No, not the gold dome of Cuba's new Russian Orthodox Cathedral, "donated" to the Church a month ago by Fidel Castro and paid for with the blood and sweat of Cuba's non-faithful. (En passant, never before in history did the workers who built a cathedral outnumber its future communicants.)
It is the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Alexy II, who has been struck down at age 79. Appointed by Mikhail Gorbachev in the waning days of the Soviet Union when he was trying desperately to save Communism, the patriarch was an abject apparatchik of the State, whatever its shade of red. He transitioned to democracy by decreeing that there would be no investigations or condemnation of Church officials with ties to the KGB. Except for a few dissident priests, disowned by the Church and jailed by the State, every hierarch and priest of the Russian Orthodox Church was a KGB agent, not co-opted by the KGB but selected from its ranks and ordained in the Church. Alexy himself begun his double-career at the height of Stalin era, in 1950, and was appointed a bishop before he was 30. He divorced his wife in obeisance to Khrushchev and found favor with Brezhnev, at the time of whose death he was the KGB's #2 man in the Russian Orthodox Church.
On succeeding the even more monstrous Patriarch Pimen I in 1990, Alexy transformed the Church from a servant of Communism to an upholder of Traditionalism (that is, its pre-1917 tradition), which entailed not only the canonization of the last Tsarist royal family and the rebuilding of the demolished Cathedral of Christ the Savior, but also overseeing the persecution and suppression of Russia's non-Orthodox Christians, whose religious rights were circumscribed by law in 1997 upon his insistence. The best that can be said for him is that he did not instigate a pogrom against the Jews after the fall of Communism. Of course, as "foreign minister" of the Orthodox Church in the 1970s, Alexy presided over their effective expulsion from the Soviet Union by helping to foment "non-official" anti-Semitism.
An ethnic-German born in Estonia while it was still a free republic, Alexei Ruediger seemed an unlikely patriarch, and his fervent embrace of Russian nationalism, like Stalin's, was probably due to his non-Russian origins.
Expect a generous tribute from Fidel and another visit from Raúl to Cuba's Russian Orthodox Cathedral to sign the book of condolences and attend a memorial service. Perhaps Raúl Castro and Jaime Cardinal Ortega, Alexy's political counterpart in Cuba, will sit together.