Martes, 26 de Marzo de 2019
Última actualización: 23:08 CET

Why Will Raúl Castro Continue to Head Cuba’s Communist Party?

Raúl Castro, along with members of his regime. (AFP)

Pedro Campos, former diplomat and analyst

It is quite likely, but it is not certain until it is announced. If, in the end, he were to remain as First Secretary, it would be to guarantee that his successor adheres to his plans to "change, but not too much", and be able to supervise the Government from the Party.

However, the dynamics arising from the existence of a Government headed by people different from those who control the Party can be many and varied, and entail unpredictable consequences.

He would continue to head the PCC because if those who succeed him fix the problem, they could argue that it was under his wise direction. But, if things do not go well, the new leaders could be blamed for not doing things right. He has stood out for delegating functions, not for fighting for things and then using the whip when they don’t go as expected.

Juan Antonio Blanco, Director of the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba

It is a phased withdrawal. He wants to see how everyone behaves, step by step. If he detects any disloyalty, he would still be there to crush it. However, he has little time left. Raúl is old and his health is delicate. In the little time that he has left, he must be loath to ​​work with his brother's doggedness and attention to administrative detail.

Lartiza Diversent, Attorney and Director of the Legal Information Center, Cubalex

Because he will continue heading the current power structures, which is why he was also elected a national representative, and, if he is not elected President of the Council of State (which I presume he will), he will be a member of this body too, or perhaps oversee the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

To be the leader of the Party is to be the leader of the State. Besides the fact that the Constitution itself recognises the PCC as the State's overseeing force, thanks to the current electoral system, it is the Party that organises and decides who will occupy the positions in the State apparatus. In other words, it controls and supplants the State.

Rafael Rojas, historian and essayist

The continuance of Raúl Castroat the head of the Party supports the pursuit of a politically controlled generational succession. His role, already detached from the leadership of the Government, will probably be marked by two trends: orthodox support for the more or less liberalizing steps of the Government, and the containment of the most recalcitrant sector of the Party, if it decides to hinder the work of the State Council and the ministries.

In either of these two functions, but especially the second, Raúl Castro's role will be decisive

Carlos Alberto Montaner, journalist and writer

Because he is very afraid and distrustful of Díaz-Canel or any other replacement. His circle of friends is his family and his old brothers in arms. In any case, Raúl is a very old man and will not be able to manage the political destiny of the country, due to his physical deficiencies.

Omar López Montenegro, Director of Human Rights at the National Cuban American Foundation

Obviously, to retain real power, especially economic, which has been the fundamental thrust of Raulism since he rose to power. Similar to the maneuver orchestrated by Michael Corleone in the movie The Godfatherwhen he transfers operations to Las Vegas and announces that "now the family will be legal," the regime seeks to morph its image to attract foreign capital, and to appear before international political entities, such as the European Union, as a "low intensity" dictatorship, protected by the sophism that commercial freedom generates political freedom – something belied by actual practice in countries such as China, Vietnam and Belarus, just to mention three examples.