Monday, February 25, 2008

Cuba after Fidel: The UPS connection

From Professor Share:

“There his is no idea or force, including the strong arm of the empire, that can destroy this revolution . . .There will not be a post-Castro era because there won’t be a post-revolutionary era.”

During my various trips to Cuba I was able to meet two younger Cuban leaders who have been mentioned as possible successors for some of Fidel’s many roles in the Cuban government and the Communist Party. Fernando Ramírez de Estenoz visited our campus about a decade ago when he was a diplomat stationed in Washington D.C. When I was last in Cuba leading a Stanford study tour Ramírez spoke to my group when we visited the Foreign Ministry. He strikes me as smart and open-minded. The more likely choice to replace Fidel is Carlos Lage, a 56-year old economist who has been acting more or less as a prime-minister. Lage oversaw the economic reforms in Cuba during the economic free-fall of the 1990s, and is viewed as a proponent of further reforms. I met him in the Cuban residence of a top Spanish diplomat many years ago. He struck me as a brilliant and pragmatic reformer. Descriptions of these and other possible replacements for Fidel can be found at