The Impending Transition!
Most unbiased observers who desire to know what is happening in Cuba rely on respected sources, especially Carlos Alzugaray, as opposed to pro-Cuban or anti-Cuban propaganda. Carlos was born in 1943 in Havana and he has degrees from the University of Havana as well as a respected Japanese university. He is acclaimed as a diplomat, educator and professor...and he has lectured at universities in the USA, UK, Canada, Mexico, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and throughout Latin America. The George W. Bush administration once barred Carlos from speaking in the U. S. but that was simply because the Bush dynasty does not want Americans to know the truth about Cuba lest it depart from its anti-Cuban propaganda.
But while most of the mainstream U. S. media is either too intimidated or incompetent to tell the truth about Cuba, there remain some brave, veteran U. S. journalists -- such as NBC's Andrea Mitchell as you can see above -- that actually want to tell the truth about Cuba. And, for example, Andrea Mitchell was seeking the truth when she interviewed Carlos Alzugaray in front of Havana's famed Malecon seawall, as this graphic shows.
Amazingly, there is a major news outlet in Miami that not only reports profusely about Cuba BUT ACTUALLY TELLS THE TRUTH ABOUT CUBA!! It's ABC Channel 10 Local News. It's bravery and integrity are astounding.
Heck, ABC Channel 10 in Miami even covered the Nov. 25th-2016 death of Fidel Castro both accurately and fairly.
Miami's ABC Channel 10 is the only news operation in South Florida that has a full-time bureau in Cuba and it is headed by an excellent and fair-minded journalist named Hatzel Vela, shown above reporting from Santa Clara.
And that returns us to Carlos Alzugaray. This week Hatzel Vela's first report from Cuba for Channel 10 in Miami featured Dr. Alzugaray's insightful and astute observations on topical Cuban issues. Less than a year from now -- when Raul Castro steps down in February of 2018 -- Cuba will have its first non-Castro and non-revolutionary leader since 1959. Leading up to that significant development, the major changes in Cuba made possible by the bravery and intelligence of former U. S. President Barack Obama, even if current President Trump erases much of them, will greet Cuba's next President, 56-year-old Miguel Diaz-Canel. Carlos Alzugaray told Hatzel Vela this week: "There is an expansion of the private sector, and there is nothing the Cuban government can do to stop that from happening." In fact, Dr. Alzugaray believes that Diaz-Canel will readily advance such entrepreneurial opportunities in Cuba. He said, "He is a guy who is modern, goes around with a tablet taking notes, carries out a good conversation and he reads a lot." Under Diaz-Canel, Dr. Alzugaray said, "Cuba will look east, to China and Vietnam."
Shown above on the far right meeting with a high-level Vietnamese delegation, Miguel Diaz-Canel has also met with and been wined-and-dined by the #1 top leaders in China and Russia. Anticipating continuous U. S. roadblocks being put up by the Cuban hardliners working with the U. S. Congress and President Trump, Diaz-Canel is primed to depend on close associations with proven allies but it appears he wants Cuba's government to more closely resemble that of Vietnam. Like all U. S. presidents since North and South Vietnam were fused into one nation under Communist rule after its victory in the bloody Vietnam War, Diaz-Canel is duly impressed with Vietnam's economic recovery. Even President George W. Bush went to Hanoi to lavishly praise Vietnam's post-war economic and, I presume, political success.
Miguel Diaz-Canel and Chinese President Zi Jinping.
Diaz-Canel and Xi Jinping at a high-level conference.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Miguel Diaz-Canel.
Diaz-Canel and Putin at a high-level conference.
Miguel Diaz-Canel welcomes close ties to China and Russia but, truth be known, his political mind-set is more in line with Vietnam than with China, Russia or any other nation. As shown in this photo, Vietnam's powerful Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan is a particularly close friend of Cuba's next leader, Miguel Diaz-Canel. As Cuba reshapes its economy, Diaz-Canel wants it to most resemble Vietnam's, which means a dose of capitalism to enhance the recent entrepreneurial advances Cuba began because of the Obama-orchestrated detente with Raul Castro. Reportedly, Diaz-Canel once told Thi Kim, "Cuba's main enemy since the 1950s has been the Bush dynasty in America." To which Thi Kim reportedly replied, "That's interesting. Since our victorious war the United States has become one of our top five trade partners and the last Bush president came here to congratulate us."
It was on November 17, 2006 that President George W. Bush arrived in Hanoi to salute Vietnam and its President Nguyen Minh Triet, with a golden image of Ho Chi Minh looming over Bush's right shoulder. On the heels of the bloody Vietnam War, which reunited North and South Vietnam under Communist rule, the United States has become a major trade partner with Vietnam while, since 1962, the United States has imposed a massive and stifling economic boycott against Cuba. The difference in the Vietnam War and Cuba's Revolutionary War, both of which the U. S. lost, is -- as Miguel Diaz-Canel understands it -- the overthrown Batista dictatorship in Cuba uniquely, quickly, and permanently regrouped on U. S. soil and soon -- with the massive help of the Bush dynasty -- stretched its tentacles to Congress and Republican White Houses to amazingly dictate most U. S. laws related to Cuba, including the embargo. At least, according to a quote Miguel Diaz-Canel's friend Thi Kim made in the Vietnamese media, that's U.S.-Cuban history according to Miguel Diaz-Canel, Cuba's next leader.
Not only does the highly respected Carlos Alzugaray have high expectations for Miguel Diaz-Canel, but so does his mentor Raul Castro and most of the everyday Cubans on the island.
Born in Santa Clara, Cuba on April 20th, 1960, Miguel is a highly trained engineer who climbed political ladders in Cuba as he rode his motorcycle, with tablet in hand, to visit and talk with everyday Cubans, truly showing a genuine interest in their welfare. He also remains a huge Beatles' fan, reflecting British and American influence as he grew up in the 1960s and 1970s.
Raul will turn 86-years-old on June 3rd and he is tired. In 2016 both of his brothers -- 91-year-old Ramon and 90-year-old Fidel -- died. Raul relished being head of Cuba's military since 1959 but he reluctantly took over as Cuba's President soon after Fidel's near fatal intestinal illness in July of 2006.
Raul likes...almost insists...being surrounded by family members for dinner each evening at 6:00 PM. He also wants a Chinese or Vietnamese-style economy for Cuba but neither he nor Fidel wanted a dynastic succession, although two of Raul's four children -- Deborah and Alejandro -- are very politically minded. One of Raul's favorite grandchildren is shown in the middle in the above photo but he is his grandpa's bodyguard and has been trained to be a businessman, not a politician.
So, as things now stand as fast-changing Cuba enters March of 2017, Miguel Diaz-Canel -- a non-revolutionary and a non-Castro -- will be Cuba's next leader by this time next year.