With Fidel Castro temporarily transferring power to brother Raul, head of Cuba’s Armed Forces, the time appears near for changing of the guard in the Communist country.
Knowing the succession was imminent– and as a clear warning to the Cuban people — Cuba’s Armed forces recently held massive maneuvers. While giving a speech hailing the maneuvers, Raul wore a bulletproof vest under his uniform (Fidel has never worn one.)
Raul knows he’s unpopular. His first official act in Jan. 8 1959, was lining up 150 potential regime opponents in front of a ditch and having them machine gunned and bulldozed into a mass grave.
Most long-time observers doubt he can hold things together. He doesn’t have the charisma of his brother nor his gift of guile. (See below for Raul Castro’s favorite method of rule, even as a rebel.)
Many observers think the only reason the regime made Fidel’s official succession announcement is because Fidel is already dead or on life support. Right now Cuba is a powder keg.