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realclearworld

A Cuban soap opera: Lifestyles of the rich and wicked

The 54-year-long soap opera that is the scandalous life of Fidel Castro and his family members in Cuba still has a few years to go before catching up to The Guiding Light's record 57 -year-long run. But although the Castro family may lag behind in longevity, it makes up for that deficiency by far surpassing any soap opera writer's imagination with its scandals and bloody subplots. As they say, truth is stranger than fiction...

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

Trouble in the Castro Clan

According to Cafe Fuerte, Cuban dictator Raul Castro's daughter, Deborah Castro Espin, is seeking a divorce from her husband, Col. Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja.

Apparently, Col. Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja has a weakness for infidelity and domestic violence, which has caught up to him.

This has important repercussions, as his marriage positioned him to be named Chairman of GAESA S.A., the Cuban military's business empire -- worth billions -- and as a member of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party.

As Chairman of GAESA, Col. Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja, effectively controls over half of the Cuban economy.

From hotels, to restaurants, to nightclubs, to airlines, to gas stations, to retails outlets, to foreign exchange stores (for remittance transactions), to electronics, to shipping, to rum, to real estate, to arms, to banking -- GAESA has a stake in it.

They fancy themselves the owners of Cuba.

And Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja had been entrusted with its fortune since 2008, when the former Chairman, General Julio Casas Regueiro, was named Minister of Defense.

At the time, Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja also received a promotion from Major to Colonel.

So what will happen now?

Perhaps he'll escape in a yacht to Tampa like former Alimport CEO, Pedro Alvarez, and be paroled under the Cuban Adjustment Act.

Hey, every other repressor is.

But Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja's saving grace may be that his son, Raul Guillermo, is Raul's favorite -- and his main bodyguard.

Their other daughter, Vilma, was recently given a visa to party in New York.

Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja is pictured on the right.

As a side note, Lopez-Calleja is a relative of the often quoted Arturo Lopez-Levy. The "scholar" dropped the Calleja name and replaced it with Levy once he left his post as a Cuban military official and took his new post in the U.S. as an official Castro dictatorship apologist.

5 comments to A Cuban soap opera: Lifestyles of the rich and wicked

  • Even looks like his cousin and business partner Arturo, who serves as Director of Media Relations U.S. District for GAESA.

  • asombra

    I expect he's been cheating on her since the beginning and only married her for the connection, but I guess she figures he, as a "commoner," owes her more respect and consideration, her being "royalty" and all. Bunch of glorified chusmas.

  • asombra

    The story goes that Luisito is a pretty boy playboy type and that Deborah was never up to his speed, but she happened to be a very good catch for reasons of nepotism, hence the marriage and subsequent elevation of Luisito to a very high level indeed.

  • asombra

    Kinda sounds like the marriage of Connie Corleone and Carlo Rizzi, no?

  • FreedomForCuba

    Maybe now he will seek exile and join his cousin here as another Cuba expert.

    "Kinda sounds like the marriage of Connie Corleone and Carlo Rizzi, no?"

    I wonder if the outcome will be the same, lol.