Saturday, February 21, 2009

Movin' on up

Ramiro Valdes, Ulises Rosales del Toro, and Jorge Luis Sierra Cruz have all been promoted to Vice Presidents of the Council of Ministers.

Ramiro Valdes has obviously excelled in his role as technological gatekeeper...he has been able to keep Pandora's Box closed for now.

We might also be able to view this as Raul addressing the 2nd man problem (formerly the 3rd man problem when Fidel was alive, politically that is). Machado Ventura is obviously not the man to fill Raul shoes, most notably because his shoes will likely be 6 feet deep before Raul's. Valdes, on the other hand, is rumored to be in excellent health and has the respect of the military.

Rosales del Toro has done a decent job as agricultural minister (all things considered) sugar minister, sugar production increased and as agricultural minister, Cuba is finding a way past the hurricane damage (allbeit with plenty of international aid and loans that will never be repaid).

Sierra Cruz is somewhat unknown to me...he does seem to be an up-and-comer and totally Raul's guy. He was promoted by Raul to be the Transport Minister in 2006 and now we have this promotion. He is a fairly young, especially compared to the gerontocracy that rules Cuba, at 47 years old. Perhaps Raul is taking steps to train someone for a future leadership role...If I were Lage, I'd be worried.

All-in-all, I see these three promotions as Raul's way of solidifying his place in power...more so than he already had. These three are very obviously his guys, despite the differences he and Valdes might have had in the past. They have apparently moved on.

No comments: