‘Cuba Experts’ who are neither Cuban, nor experts

The “Cuba Experts” the American press loves to trot out in their coverage of the island to impart their wisdom on all things Cuba come from a variety of places and backgrounds.

However, all “Cuba Experts” share two common traits: None of them are Cuban, and none of them are experts on Cuba.

Capitol Hill Cubans exposes the embarrassingly utter ignorance of one such “Cuba Expert,” Julia Sweig:

CFR’s Cuba “Expert” Outdoes Herself

In an interview today, The Council of Foreign Relations’ (CFR) Julia Sweig dropped this gem:

Cuba doesn’t have a military junta running the country.”

Believe it or not — this is the CFR’s “Director of Latin American Studies” making this incredibly ignorant statement.

Note to Dr. Sweig:

Cuba is currently run by General Raul Castro.

In addition, four out of Raul’s seven “Vice-Presidents” (and the most senior) are also generals:

General Ramiro Valdes Menendez (in charge of all basic industries and telecommunications).
General Ulises Rosales del Toro (in charge of agriculture and food services).
General Antonio Enrique Luzon Batle (in charge of transportation and infrastructure).
General Adel Yzquierdo Rodriguez (in charge of the economy and finances).

Meanwhile, the powerful Executive Secretary is General Jose Amado Ricardo Guerra and the Communist Party’s Politburo is run by Raul’s “untouchables,” General Ramon Espinosa Martin and General Alvaro Lopez Miera.

Furthermore, over 50% of the Cuban economy in controlled by GAESA, S.A., headed by Colonel Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja, which is the all-powerful business conglomerate of Cuba’s Ministry of the Armed Forces (MINFAR), headed by General Leopoldo Cintas Frias.

And approximately another 30% of the Cuban economy is controlled by companies under the Cuban Ministry of the Interior, headed by General Abelardo Colome Ibarra.

The remaining 20% of the Cuban economy is controlled by smaller companies under other specialty ministries, the most important of which are also under the control of military officials, including the Ministry of Tourism under Colonel Manuel Marrero Cruz, the Ministry of Heavy Industries under General Salvador Pardo Cruz and the Ministry of Transportation under General Cesar Ignacio Arocha Masid

Is Cuba run by a military junta?  Obviously.

As The Financial Times wrote today, “Mr. Castro is a throwback to the Latin America of sunglass-wearing generals.”

CFR should be ashamed to have such misinformed “experts.”

7 thoughts on “‘Cuba Experts’ who are neither Cuban, nor experts”

  1. No doubt she didn’t mean it that way, but Sweig’s statement could be read as questioning the legitimacy of a number of Cuba’s top military brass. For starters, the military credentials of Castro II are bogus, no matter how much faux military bling he wears.

  2. well, technically, she’s right. splitting hairs but it isn’t a “military junta” because in a junta it is a committee that makes decisions when basically it is Raul Castro who runs things which would make this a military dictatorship. Sweig’s sin is one of omission.

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