It is good to be the king. It is also good to be the king’s daughter. And as we learn today, it is also good to be the king’s son-in-law. Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas, the son-in-law of Raul Castro who runs the apartheid dictatorship’s massive criminal business enterprises, has just been promoted to general. If his name sounds vaguely familiar that is because his cousin, Arturo Lopez-Levy (who used to hyphen Callejas before changing it to Levy), is one of the favored “Cuba Experts” often quoted by the media as a sensible and moderate voice of Cuban Americans. Most of the time, however, they neglect to tell readers that Lopez-Levy is related to the Castro crime family and was an intelligence officer for Cuba’s notorious MININT (Ministry of the Interior), which along with espionage is in charge of running and maintaining the monstrous Castro machine of repression.
We can only wonder what type of congratulatory gift one gives to a family member who has just been promoted to general of the bloodiest, most repressive, and most murderous dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere. Perhaps Arturo Lopez-Levy will take some time off from defending and promoting the apartheid Castro dictatorship and will share with us what gift he sent his beloved cousin.
Castro son-in-law promoted to general
Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas appears to remain a powerful figure despite reports that he has fought with the family.
A powerful son-in-law of Cuban ruler Raúl Castro, in charge of the military enterprises that dominate the island’s economy, has been promoted to general despite recurring reports of tensions with his wife and brother-in-law.
Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas, in his mid-50s and long identified as a colonel in the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), was identified as a brigadier general in a Jan. 29 report in the Web pages of Cubadefensa, a FAR publication.
Rodriguez heads the Enterprise Administration Group (GAESA), the FAR’s business arm — the military controls 80 percent of the Cuban economy, including hotels, factories, restaurants and airlines — and sits on the Central Committee of the Communist Party.
He also is spearheading the $1 billion development project for the Port of Mariel west of Havana, Cuba’s strategic bet for reinserting itself into the global economy with the help of $800 million in financing from Brazil.
Military promotions in secretive Cuba are seldom announced, but Cubadefensa revealed his new rank in a brief report saying he attended a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the military-run Almacenes Universales S.A.
Rodriguez, married to Castro’s oldest daughter, Deborah Castro Espín, is widely viewed as one of the most powerful and ambitious men in Cuba — smart, arrogant, frugal and a highly effective administrator of GAESA.
His promotion to general supported speculation that he might succeed Castro eventually because he holds a high military rank, knows the economy, comes from a good family and married into an even more important one. His father, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Rodríguez del Pozo, was one of the Fidel Castro guerrillas who seized power in 1959.
“This means that he remains in contention, despite what people have been saying about his troubles,” said Luis Dominguez, a Miami exile who first reported Rodriguez’s promotion in his blog, Cuba al Descubierto — Cuba Uncovered.
Retired CIA analyst Brian Latell, who authored two books on Cuba, said the new rank is commensurate with the general’s responsibilities at the very profitable GAESA. “I would say he earned his star fair and square,” he said.
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