HAVANA — Fidel Castro, bedridden for 19 months, on Tuesday gave up the almost unlimited power he has wielded in Cuba for nearly 50 years, but whether the surprise announcement represented a historic change or a symbolic political maneuver remained unclear.-NY TIMES
It is expected that his brother Raúl, 76, will be officially named president, and some experts consider him more pragmatic.
Raúl Castro has talked about bringing more accountability to government and possibly working to improve relations with the United States. But since taking over temporarily in the summer of 2006, he has largely operated in his brother’s shadow, and, except for facilitating huge investments by Canadian and European resort developers here, he has brought about little change.
It was not clear what role, if any, Fidel Castro would play in a new government, or whether he would retain other powerful positions, including head of the Communist Party. But he signaled that he was not yet ready to completely exit the stage.
I think its pretty exciting that this is happening...yes, I wish I was still there when the news broke (just 10 days too late!!) If the Cuban government can merge their current culture with some US styled freedoms and economy (minus the trillions in debt the U.S. has to China) they will be in good shape sooner then they could have hoped.
My friends in Cuba are yet to respond to my questions of change and their added responses... but I'm agreeing that not much will change as long as Fidel is Alive. So much is centered around dying for your country...like their old school coin with Che's head adorning the front reads "PATRIA O MUERTE" (Patriotism or die)* I think that time (a few years) is needed, but your future looks good my Cuban friends!
Also, due to this sudden surprise, it has sparked 10 times more interest in my photojournalism work. I'll be signing a contract with Zuma Press sometime this week.
Cheers to a new future! (Cuba and the United States) Lets just hope that our futures blend... although it would be nice to set a ban on American fast food in Cuba... its so refreshing not to see a McDonalds, or KFC...those restaurants are a big reason why our country has a spare tire around its waist.
Alright, I'm out!
P.S. More journal entries to come from Cuba. Hopefully some imported Cuban Rum mojitos too!
P.S.S. LBpost.com added some images of mine CLICK
* Thanks Tanya T. for the translation of my coin.