Who really runs the Castro Kingdom?
You’d never know the correct answer to that question if you rely on the reports published by the “journalists” who work for all the major news outlets throughout the world, most of whom slavishly adhere to the talking points released by the Ministry of Truth in Havana.
The recent spate of reports about the phony representative assembly and the hand-picked “successor” to Raul are but a flimsy smokescreen. All Cubans on the island know this, and so do most exiles.
The real power does not rest in the Politburo of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC), as per the Constitution. It rests in a small group of Generals, some of whom are not even in the Politburo. They compose a military junta invisible to the international community and to a majority of the Cuban people, as they operate behind the scenes and are not mentioned by the media. [The new Vice-President of the Council of State] Miguel Diaz-Canel does not belong to the “creme de la creme” that controls the country and that has 14 members.
Headed by the Castro brothers and by the “Comandante” (today equivalent to the rank of a General) Machado Ventura, the select group includes the island’s four most powerful Generals: Leopoldo Cintras Frías, Minister of Defense; Abelardo Colomé, Minister of the Interior; Alvaro López Miera, First Vice-Minister of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs; and Ramón Espinosa, Vice-Minister of Defense. Also, “Comandante” Ramiro Valdés and Colonel of the intelligence services, Marino Murillo, the Vice-President in charge of the “actualization” of socialism. They are all members of the Politburo.
The non-members of the Politburo are General José Amado Ricardo, Executive Secretary of the Council of Ministers (akin to the functions of a Prime Minister, the position formerly held by Carlos Lage); General Carlos Fernández Gondín, First Vice-Minister of the Interior; General Joaquín Quintas Solá, Vice-Minister of Defense; and Colonel Alejandro Castro Espín, son of the dictator-in-chief and head of the Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence Units of the Ministries of Defense and Interior. The final member has been — until recently — Colonel Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Callejas, ex son-in-law of Raúl Castro, in charge of the Ministry of Defense’s businesses. However, after his divorce from Deborah Castro Espín, it is unknown whether he will continue in this privileged position.
These are Cuba’s 14 most powerful men, whom together with the Castros, make the most important decisions. This is similar to the parallel governing structure imposed by Fidel, who created the all-powerful Coordination and Support Group of the Commander-in-Chief, which for decades was the real executive branch of the nation, beyond the Council of Ministers, State and the Communist Party.
Moreover, 8 of the 15 members of the Politburo are currently from the military (the majority), while 4 of the 7 Vice-Presidents of the Council of Ministers are from the military.
Thus, Cuba is the only country in the world that presents its military ruling class as civilian, and is accepted as such. When a General is the President of a nation without having ever been elected by a democratic vote, and governs surrounded by Generals, that is called a military dictatorship. Except in the case of Cuba, which now even presides the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).