Castro's 81st birthday passes with almost no public celebration

There was a fireworks display in Havana, but that’s all.

According to Newsmax writer Humberto Fontova:

All of which seems to suggest that when Fidel finally kicks . . . it won’t be that big a deal at all, at all. Things will go on more or less as before under Raul. What do you think?

I do think there will be some changes but not right away, and things might get more repressive before they open up. Raul has always been second place to Fidel, and even if he has been running things behind the scenes for a year now, he is also seen as less capable. He certainly is not as charismatic as Fidel, and the Cuban government has for a long time been centered around Fidel’s personality.

I think that once Fidel is announced to be dead, and Raul is officially put in charge there will be an internal power struggle. Raul most likely opponent is probably Ramiro Valdez who used to be in charge of state security and is now in charge of Information and Communications. Ramiro was appointed to his new post, after being retired, shortly after Fidel became sick last year, probably by Fidel himself or by his loyalists. In the meantime Raul purged 6 different ministers and replaced them with his own people. So there are things happening behind the scenes.

By the way Humberto Fontova has a book out called “The real Che Guevara and the useful idiots who idolize him”, that is a nice read.

This sounds like the gerontocracy of the latter-day Soviet Union! Don’t they have any young people in the government?!

Perez-Roque is the youngest right now, he’s Fidel’s hand picked foreign minister. But you are right about the age of those in government. When I was in the university in Cuba every year at graduation a few top guys would come to give speeches, never Fidel, but pretty high up. We used to call that “desfile de momias” or “mummies on parade”. This was almost 10 years ago, and they have not been getting younger.

When Castro finally croaks, are we going to see a Stalinesque funeral, and a mausoleum in havana (complete with castro’s expertly-pickled corpse)? These have sorta goen out of style-but this religion needs its patron saint-so will tourists get to see Castro 9in army fatiques) lying in a glass casket? Or will the corpse be buried/cremated?
So damn few Communist dictatorships left-I’d say castro is well on his way toward deification.

The story is that Fidel does not want the Lenin treatment, but neither did Ho Chi Min and he’s pickled too. He will definitely have a huge funeral, with a large line of people going by to see the corpse, but where he will be buried is not too clear. Fidel is originally from Oriente province, and that’s where his family is buried. But high level revolutionaries are buried in the Frank Pais Mausoleo in another part of Oriente province. On the other hand Fidel has lived in Havana since the 1940’s, and that’s the seat of Cuba government, so he might be buried there.

My guess is that after his funeral he will be preserved, not buried, and eventually, assuming Raul remains in power long enough he will be on display in the Plaza de la Revolucion.