Without Fidel Castro, Will Raul Still Remain Defiant Against The U.S.?

Cuban leaders came together at their seventh party congressional meeting where current president Raul Castro was re-elected for another term as the party’s first secretary with support from Fidel Castro.

According to an article by NPR’s Morning Edition, the idea that Cuba will change anytime soon was defied by former Cuban president Fidel and his brother, current President Raul Castro, during the four-day congressional meeting which ended Tuesday.

Fidel Castro made it known that he did not have long to live and, “soon I’ll be like all the others; everyone’s turn must come.”

The charismatic leader has not made very many appearances since he handed power over to his brother, and the article states that it is very likely that this would be his last meeting with the party congress.

In light of the recent visit to Cuba of U.S. President Obama the message made was very clear that despite the effort to improve relations, communism would prevail in Cuba.

Raul Castro casts vote for his brother

“Castro’s surprise visit to the congress, coupled with his younger brother Raúl’s re-election as party leader, makes it clear that Cuba’s elder revolutionaries remain in charge. Raúl Castro is 84. Eighty-five-year-old José Ramón Machado remains second-in-command.”

Cuban news source Prensa Latina reports that Fidel spoke of many things, one of them being the survival of future generations and the risks to mankind.

“Who will feed the hungry people of Africa with no technology at their disposal, nor rain, nor dams or underground reservoirs other than those covered by sand? We’ll see what the governments that signed climate commitments will say.”

Capitol of Cuba, Old Havana
The debate between America and Cuban leaders has been over disagreements on a governing philosophy, between communism — which was largely criminalized by America’s politicians, and citizens during the Cold War — and Western democracy.

U.S. Congress refuses to lift the embargo placed on Cuba since 1960 in a battle of ideas against the Obama administration, and they were angered when the President began to reach out to Cuba’s leaders.

This was also the case among the leaders in Havana, as noted by The Inquisitr, when Fidel Castro would not meet with President Obama during his historic visit to Cuba.

The defiance against supporting a change in relations between the U.S. and Cuba was first apparent when the President acknowledged Raul Castro during a memorial for Nelson Mandela when he died in 2013. Obama made a speech which was apparently the cause for Republican senator Ted Cruz to leave the event.

Since then, both Cruz and Marco Rubio have been very public about their thoughts against lifting the embargo and have stood at the front lines of the House Republican majority to prevent any legislation that would move towards that goal.

Despite this, Raul Castro has reason to allow the tension between both countries to soften, as Cuba’s economy appears to be in dire straits, and in need of an adjustment, and they are also long overdue for contemporary business structures.

Even with the new direction to allow new businesses in the region, a defiant Fidel Castro seemed to redirect the road into foggier territory.

New Indian Express, for instance, quoted Raul Castro when he pointed out the limits they’ll enforce on private businesses.

“The neo-liberal formulas that promote accelerated privatization of state assets and social services such as education, health and social security will never be applied under Cuban socialism.”

Many of the op-eds published on this meeting appear to suggest that this will be Fidel’s final appearance with the single party as he will be 90-years-old soon.

These meetings only take place twice in a decade and the last one was in 2011.

Fidel’s brother Raul is said to be more pragmatic in governing to encourage the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba to prosper. It is assumed that Fidel Castro might still have a hand in governing, and when he’s no longer around, one can only a guess how defiant the Cuban government will be.

[Image by Ismael Francisco | Cubadebate via AP]