Yesterday Raul presided over a joint meeting of the Polit Bureau and the Council of State. As we can see, seating arrangements were allotted ahead of time, and where people are sitting can tell us quite a bit.
Quite noticeably, the first two rows of people look like they just limped out of a geriatric ward. Most of the women have been relegated to a back corner, not even having a clear view of el Nuevo Comandante. Blacks, with the exception of Esteban Lazo Hernández and Pedro Sáez Montejo (I could be wrong on this ID), have been relegated to the back of the room. So much for Cuba’s supposed sexual and racial advancements.
I just want to point out a few key people who have been talked about quite a bit. Carlos Lage, who many (yes, me too) have been thinking is taking a decreasingly important role in the government, made it into the front row. So, I’m going to have to readjust my stance on his prominence in the government. Maybe he’s being more low-key because he is taking after Raul’s lead, whereas before, he could have been trying to please Fidel.
Alarcon is in the 2nd row, but I don’t think this is too much of a knock to him, especially since he’s seated next to Ramiro Valdez, who we will hopefully never see moved into the first row.
The person who has most obviously fallen from grace is Felipe Perez Roque, who is seated all the way in the back of the room (and is yawning, worried, or sleeping). I wonder what a body language expert would say about his body language.
Additionally, I don’t think that I need to point out the obvious, but I will anyway: There’s one person missing from the Polit Bureau…say it with me…F. I. D. E. L. He’s probably still alive, but politically speaking, he’s already a corpse.