Something big is up in Havana

raul castro

From Havana Note, who is friendly towards Cuba.

What has happened is that Raul Castro, now President of Cuba, has sacked his brother’s closest followers and advisers in government.

Both Vice President Carlos Lage and Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque have been given pink slips. These were Fidel’s most obvious heir apparents and his chief ideological spear carriers in the next generation of Cuban political leadership.

This is one of those historical pivot points in normally opaque (often Communist) regimes that will be remembered for generations.

Raul Castro seems fully in control now — and he’s done with ideology.

Havana Note has long-called for an end to the embargo and says now is the time for Obama to normalize relations with Cuba. I completely agree.

In other Cuba news, they are developing GMO corn that is resistant to strong herbicides, in an attempt to stop the fall armyworm which has been devastating the crop. This is certainly a change from their all-organic farming. That’s not a put down – Cuba can’t allow crops to be ravaged – rather just another sign of what looks to be major change coming soon to Cuba.

End the Cuba embargo now.


  1. Yikes! The problem with GMO crops is that the genetic modifications don’t stay localized– they spread with the pollen in the wind. GMO corn in Ontario, Canada has spread its modifications to the extent that none of that province’s corn (even if organically grown) can be certified as GMO-free.

    That’s not to say that pest problems aren’t serious– but many of them result from monoculture and lack of crop rotation, and can be addressed through introduction of different strains and different crops. There are literally hundreds of traditional varieties of corn, but today cultivation focuses on a handful of hybrids. The same is true of most crops from apples to potatoes to rice. The hybrids may be hardier than any single strain, but when a pest or disease adapts to them, it can wipe out an entire national crop rather than just a field.

  2. Thanks for posting this info about Raul Castro firing those cabinet members. I also think this issue will further develop, and I am hoping it will be for the better. Whether or not Fidel Castro was as clued in on this switching business as he likes to proclaim, Raul at least seems to be reasserting his role as Cuba’s president. Hopefully a more focused and less-manipulated country will be in his plans. I watched this video at It’s a good summary of the issue and worth watching:

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