What if the Castros’ lose their Sugar Daddy?

Jaimie Weinstein in the Daily Caller examines the implications for Castro’s Cuba if Venezuela’s dictator Hugo Chavez would suddenly expire and they lose their Sugar Daddy:

Long-term consequences to Castro regime dire if Chavez were to expire, experts say

What would it mean for Venezuela and Cuba if Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez died or was too incapacitated to govern?

Such a scenario isn’t too hard to imagine. On June 10 while in Cuba, Chavez was rushed to the hospital and into surgery to fix what the Venezuelan government claimed was a pelvic abscess. With the exception of one phone call he made to a Venezuelan television show 10 days ago, the media-obsessed leader hasn’t been heard from or photographed since June 10, fueling speculation that he may not be long with us or at least too ill to govern.

However, Roger Noriega, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a former American diplomat in Latin America, told The Daily Caller that while Chavez’s condition was initially serious, “from everything we can see now, [Chavez] is recovering fairly well.”

“I don’t think there is any chance that he would pass away,” he said. “What we are hearing from our sources is that they are going forward with plans for the July 9 anniversary of the Venezuelan independence. If Chavez were in any kind of grave, serious trouble, they wouldn’t be doing that.”

Nonetheless, he said, if Chavez were to suddenly become too sickly to govern, the reigns of power would pass to his vice president, Elias Jaua, a charmless but disciplined ideologue closely tied to the Cuban regime.

“He was appointed to the job as Plan B for [Raul] Castro, which is if anything happens to Hugo, he has got this guy more loyal to Havana than to his own country in the vice presidential slot,” Noriega said.

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