July 31, 2006

Raul Castro Update: More Radical, Less Charismatic
— Ace

Seems like a winning combination to me.

Ace's Rule of Cult-of-Personality Tyranny: You can't be a long-lived tyrant when you project the all the sex appeal and virile authority of the little bald guy from The Benny Hill Show.

Cuban Defense Minister Raul Castro is President Fidel Castro's staunchly loyal younger brother and his designated successor. At 75 and five years younger than Fidel, Raul is far less charismatic than his brother though far more radical.


Three weeks after taking power in January 1959, Castro named Raul his successor, telling supporters: "Behind me are others more radical than I."


While Fidel headed up many of the mass protests in Havana, it was the mustachioed Raul, dressed in his olive green uniform and a full head shorter than his brother, leading tens of thousands of chanting, flag- waving citizens in the provinces.


Hey, if such superficial concerns as looks, height, and charisma matter in a mature, extraordinarily-successful democracy, they must count ten times as much in Cult of Personality Tyranny.

Cuba may be about to get a bit of political pluralism.

Not by design, of course. But while no one would dare challenge Fidel for power, I think there are going to be a few ambitious generals who think they're more suited to be Dictator For Life than Slappy Castro.

Posted by: Ace at 08:52 PM | Comments (26)
Post contains 236 words, total size 2 kb.

1 "looks, height, and charisma"

Hitler had 1/3 of those,
Stalin had 0/3.

But I hope you're right ...

Posted by: Knemon at August 01, 2006 02:15 AM (myKow)

2 If they'll fawn over Kim Jong Il, then Raul's looks won't be a problem.

Moonbats love absolute power moreso than any physical appearance.

Posted by: Sue Dohnim at August 01, 2006 02:53 AM (rE+jU)

3 Ah, short man's attitude.

Before you get pissy my dad is 5'7", yes he too has short man's attitude.

Posted by: pajama momma at August 01, 2006 02:58 AM (42nqg)

4 Ace: Tyrants are not successful because they're handsome, charismatic or tall. Tyrants are successful because they are ruthless, relentlessly murderous, fantatical in their pursuit of power and take a sadistic pleasure in harming others/ creating fear in others. They enjoy the obsequiousness that results from their tyranny. The fawning adulation that dicatators like Castro command is part of their joy. The fact that mass murder, terror and fear are the cause of the fawning doesn't lessen their enjoyment. And "charisma" purchased through fomenting hatred of others (including envy/ social class differences) or through violence is not "charisma" , it is demagogic.

Posted by: Pendelton at August 01, 2006 03:06 AM (PX3WS)

5 And he is just as evil as his brother two commie vultures and why should we ship anything to cuba when it ends up feding castro his brother and their goons and screw that jerk JIMMY CARTER and that wussie wad groups like the CUBAN AMERICAN FREINDSHIP SOCIETY

Posted by: spurwing plover at August 01, 2006 03:50 AM (ILvmZ)


Communists are against monarchism.

Except if the monarch is communist.

Posted by: at August 01, 2006 03:57 AM (Gi7oA)

7 Gen. Franco wasn't exactly physically imposing, nor was Napoleon Bonaparte.
Charisma is more than looks.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at August 01, 2006 04:08 AM (O9Cc8)

8 On NPR this morning, some guy claimed that Raul was more open to reform than Fidel.

Posted by: at August 01, 2006 04:24 AM (uHRYR)

9 Well, to be fair, the guy looks like an extra from Missing in Action or any of a myriad of bad karate flicks (despite being Cubano)... and of course, NPR is going to do whatever they can to prop this guy up- it's bad for their business if a card-carrying Communist regime goes down.

I think, however, that no matter how  you slice it, if Uncle Fidel dies, the movement takes a beating. Sure, you'll see the T-shirts and what not, but this is the guy who's been the face of the Latin Socialist movement for the last five decades. At his age, surviving intense surgery like that is no guarantee... it's a shame it's not happening in a public hospital. You can bet that (unlike public Cuban hospitals) he's in an immaculate operating suite somehwere, with some Canadian or French doctors working on him.

Raul won't wind up being too far behind... look at the guy. He looks a hell of a lot worse than I've ever seen Fidel. It would be awfully nice for the regime to splinter with two swift deaths of their leadership...


Posted by: tmi3rd at August 01, 2006 04:33 AM (5Z2JP)

10 Raul Castro is in many ways, much more directly involved with the day to day running of the dictatorship. He's also directly involved in making Cuba a safe haven transit point for all sorts of smuggling, including and not limited to cocaine.

Posted by: BigFire at August 01, 2006 04:50 AM (i5qPG)

11 Maybe instead of cult of personality tyranny, they should go for ...

cult of personality tranny ...

whores, that is, ... Caribbean gold, Cuban tea bagging.

Posted by: John at August 01, 2006 05:01 AM (30uPm)

12 I want to own the concession that sells tickets to piss on Fidel's grave.

Posted by: Mark at August 01, 2006 05:03 AM (isTfo)

13 Yes but the big question is: DO HIS BALLS TASTE LIKE MARSHMALLOWS?

Posted by: rb at August 01, 2006 05:04 AM (KCK7p)

14 Tick-tock, Slappy. You and Fidelisimo aren't long from a short ride on a luge to hell where you can play grabass for eternity with Che. Adios.


Posted by: monsoon at August 01, 2006 05:15 AM (Fyntg)

15 The balls of General Raul Castro they prove in fact like the marsh mallows. Obviously, these operations in the family.

Posted by: Raul is Confundido en Cuba at August 01, 2006 05:40 AM (wKh5O)

16 In honesty I'd be worried about Chavez if I were a Cuban. It's clear he has designs on the country. Raul has none of the revolutionary aura or charisma of his brother, but plenty of the cruel oppressive nature. It's up to the people of Cuba to deal with that. I wish them well. But if Chavez decides to take the place over, well I think it's only neighborly of the US to have our southern buddy's back.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at August 01, 2006 08:25 AM (FuM7z)

17 On NPR this morning, some guy claimed that Raul was more open to reform than Fidel.

They only believe that because Raul is gay.

Posted by: Michael Andreyakovich at August 01, 2006 09:21 AM (9pkhB)

18 So, in a sense, Raul is even worse than Castro: oppressive, uncharismatic, and extremely closeted... so deep in the closet, he's chewing on mothballs.

Posted by: Michael Andreyakovich at August 01, 2006 09:23 AM (9pkhB)

19 If there were nothing else going on, a Venezuelan attempt to take over Cuba would be a pretty interesting opportunity for the US.

Anecdote- I talked to a Chavez refugee who was a neurosurgeon and commander in the Venezuelan navy. Apparently, Chavez summoned the commanders of the Venezuelan armed forces and asked them to come up with a plan to invade the southeastern US. According to said refugee, the conversation went something like this.

Chavez: "The oppressed masses will rise up when we, their liberators arrive!"
General/Admiral: "Jefe, we wouldn't even be able to get near their shores."
Chavez: "What do you mean?"
General: (sigh) "Jefe, you know we have 40,000 men in our army, si?"
Chavez: "Of course!"
General: "Well, jefe, the US has that many troops in most of their provincial National Guard units. That's of course assuming we even managed to get within sight of their shores."
Chavez: "What do you mean?"
General: "The Americans have aircraft carriers. We do not. The Americans have their southern shores dotted with air bases that allow them to fly pretty much to the tip of Chile if need be. Our frigates cannot defend against that."
Chavez: "So what are you saying?!"
General: "Jefe, I am saying that a frontal naval assault on the shores of the United States would be suicidal at best."

Said general either turned up dead or moved his family the next day. But it would sure be funny to find out what Venezuela thinks they'd accomplish.


Posted by: tmi3rd at August 01, 2006 09:35 AM (5Z2JP)

20 Dude at least shaves ....

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