What happens when Castro dies?

I was part of an interesting conversation a few days ago; basically some American friends of mine think, when Castro dies, communism in Cuba will go with him; the US embargo will be lifted and trade will resume, with the Amercians being able to take full advantage of Cuba for vacation and developmental purposes. Is all this true or just “beer talk.?”

In the same conversation my American friends said they thought the Cuba embargo was a dinosaur but they are in a Catch 22 situation. If they lift it before Castro dies, it is admitting defeat, something the American Government wants to avoid. Yet the US has opened trade with the Russians and the Chinese. (quote from US friend: “We trade with China! We’re having the Olympics in Bejing for crissakes! Those guys wrote the book on Human Rights violations!”) As an aside, these guys were amazed to learn I had vacationed in Cuba. I told them: “I was there for a week and no one asked me for spare change. Then I came home to Toronto and 3 guys asked for a hand out between the luggage carousel and the taxi stand!”

Anyway, sorry to make this so long. Hope it doesn’t hinder any replies!

Well, he probably won’t be old enough when Castro dies, but someday the president of Cuba will be Elian Gonzales.

Miami has a party. :slight_smile:

Van Ness and Gough take up the slack. :wink:

The new head of state (probably Fidel Castro’s brother, Raul) will have a difficult time. The US will pressure him to move to a democratic goverment, but that’s not going to happen, as he is part of the Party. However, with Fidel gone, it will be easier for the US to soften the embargo (indeed a dinosaur) as the ‘evil’ person will no longer be there.

Presumably after Castro dies, his body will be embalmed and there will be a big funeral which lots of heads of state will attend, except from the U.S.

I figure when Castro dies, there’s gonna be another successor, and then the Bay of Pigs II.

The GQ part of the question is, probably the position goes to brother Raúl Castro, #2 man in the Party and head of the Army. Being about the only guy in the old (OLD) guard with his hands on the tools to enforce his rule.

Then it stops being a GQ and goes into IMHO territory. A “Bay of Pigs 2” is unlikely unless the “Miamians” are willing to assemble such an adventure entirely devoid of US support. Their most likely strategy would be to go in covertly and buy off enough of the mid-level commanders so as to carry out a coup.

This, BTW, may NOT please the internal opposition, the guys who have had to endure the regime right there in Cuba – specially if the Miamians insist in that they are going to “take back” “their” houses, lands, factories, etc. and/or extract heavy reparations. After all, who would pay the reparations? The various Spanish, German, Canadian, etc. concerns involved in hotel and factory development in post-Soviet Cuba would keep any lawsuits cooped up in courts forever.

In an alternative, Raúl ascends as figurehead leader while Alarcón, Robaina and other 2nd-and 3rd-generation party leaders do the actual running of the country (who says they don’t already? Fidel’s not immune to time). They engineer Raúl’s retirement and then announce an “opening”; they release some prisoners, allow some free press, decree a limited amnesty, start deregulating the economy, legalize some opposition parties. Their objective, to end their careers as probably the minority in the new government, but with legitimacy and safety and with no Miamians coming at them with payback in their minds. The Euros would love this approach and many in the US, even Republicans, may say “OK, close enough” (It depends on whether American Corporations still will insist in “taking back” “their” lands, plants, etc) (Me, I would say, “It was impounded what, 50 years ago? Write it off!”)

Sorry no cite, but I come from the very authoritative position of living in Miami for the last three years, so you can take my word for it. :smiley:

The US is expecting a massive exodus of Cubans to the US, and their relocation will NOT be in South Florida. Raul, who has none of the flair and mass appeal that his brother has, will assume power and an internal struggle will ensue, with the undergraound resistance making noises. Raul, the head of the military, will use that to quell the protests. International intervention ensues.

FWIW, I grew up in Miami, although I left in ‘94. What I heard is that the City of Miami (or is that La Cuidad de Miami?) has contingency plans for three days of wild, untrammelled, spontaneous partying in the streets. In other words, carnival. This, of course, would be a completely unprecedented event in the civic history of Miami. No, not the three days’ carnival part, but the city government having contingency plans for anything. :smiley:

Now, if they play it smart, they’ll just have officers on standby for crowd control (but hanging back, letting the Cubans blow off some steam), and lots of the Latino officers plainly visible. And hopefully a few extra hands in the ERs. You can expect lots of freak accidents and car accidents in a situation like that, even without the rioting and looting.

And the groceries will immediately run out of small suckling pigs (BTW, Cubans do a miraculous grill job with suckling pig, involving keeping it well lubed with criollo sauce, wrapping it in banana leaves, and slow-cooking it over an extra-large BBQ grill or grill pit all day. Of course this “requires” the constant attention of the men, who, naturally, stand around the fire all day, drinking beer and shooting the breeze. If they do it right, they get as sauced as the pig they’re cooking… :slight_smile: They’re called “pig-outs”, and pork never tasted better.)

BUT… if power is openly contested in the “Castro es muerte!” aftermath, and/or there’s much going on in the way of Cuban-v.-Cuban conflicts (like warring army factions, or military coup plotters v. masses of party loyalists in the streets of Havana), then many Miamians (and not just the Cubans) will be too glued to CNN & Univision to leave the house!

This isn’t exactly a General Question, since I don’t think there can be any factual answers to these questions. I’m tempted to move this to Great Debates, but I don’t really see a debate developing. I’ll move it to IMHO.

Doesn’t Castro have a son who he has brought up to succeed him in the line of power? Why shouldn’t the line of power just pass from father to son?

(and who the hell is this brother? Never heard of him, just keep on hearing how Castero has a son that has been groomed to take over when Castero dies.)

And the Embargo is NOT incorrect;

then again I am the person who thinks that we should put an embargo in place on china as well.


<---- last anti-commie allive.

This is not an answer to the OP but I just laughed until I cried at:

Though personally I think Divisadero is really in a better position to stage a bloodless coup…


“Superman” returns to the stage.

castro does not die, only the bodies he inhabits do.

castro is a state of mind.

Damn, that was out of nowhere. I had to do a double-take.

Funny though. :wink:

After Fidel dies, I think his brother will be overwhelmed by a popular uprising, ala the Soviets, and democracy will take hold.

After several years of transition (aided by massive US economic support) Cuba will emerge as a free country with growing pains.

American industry will swoop down like a hawk to establish a new cheap manufacturing base. Tourism will soar. Havana will once again become “Las Vegas South”. Free market economy will take hold, and soon Cuba will become a surrogate state of the US.

And the people will be happy…
Anyway, one can hope.

Com2Kid must be thinking of some soap opera because it clearly ain’t Cuba.

I appreciated MonkeyMensch’s joke.

This question was in my mind on my two visits to Cuba (1998 and 2000). Raúl hasn’t been fully groomed to take power, and Cubans aren’t particularly enthusiastic about him. But they see Fidel as sort of a figurehead of the revolución that they fully support. The opponents of socialism have been expelled for many years. I can’t imagine the Cuban system collapsing simply because Fidel is gone. The majority of Cubans will mourn him and wish to see his face next to Che’s in the Cuban iconography. What goes on in the psychotic minds of the Miami gusanos is another matter.

My bet is on Alarcon. But though he’s smart and speaks fluent English, he’s still in my thinking a pretty hard line Communista, sort of like Che Guevera or Danny Ortega.

Socialism is one thing, but revolutionary Communism is another altogether. If the 20th Century has taught us anything, it’s that the world can’t afford to live with a philosophy of overthrowing the percieved established order “by any means necessary”.

The embargo doesn’t work well, as you see from the Canadian OP’s visit there. Everyone BUT Americans go there officially. Check out PJ O’Rourke’s account of Cuba sometime.

What happens when Castro dies? I reckon they’ll pack him in rock-candy sugar or a big jug of rum and put him on display. It’s how they deify someone in a society that officially denies the existence of God.

BTW, the SF jokes were cool.