The Party and the Army: Civil-Military Relations in Cuba
Posted: 06/26/2014 1:02 pm EDT Updated: 06/26/2014 2:59 pm EDT
When Raúl Castro became president of Cuba in his own right in 2008, he
replaced most of his brother Fidel's cabinet with ministers of his own
choosing. In March 2009, he announced a sweeping reorganization of the
government bureaucracy, replacing nine veteran ministers and firing
Fidel's proteges, Carlos Lage, the de facto prime minister, and Felipe
Pérez-Roque, the foreign minister. By 2012, across 26 ministries, only
three of Fidel's appointees were still in office. Raúl's new ministers
came from the ranks of experienced professionals, a number of them from
the armed forces.
Today, eight ministries are led by career military officers, three of
whom are still on active duty. Of the 10 vice-presidents of the Council
of Ministers, five are active-duty or former career military officers,
not counting Raúl himself. Of the 13 members of the Political Bureau of
the Cuban Communist Party, four are active-duty generals and another is
retired military, again not counting Raúl.
Both in Cuba and abroad, the prominence of so many senior officers in
civilian posts has prompted speculation about a military "takeover" of
the Cuban government. But to regard this circulation of elites as
breaching some clear divide between civilian and military roles is to
misunderstand the nature of civil-military relations in Cuba...
Source: The Party and the Army: Civil-Military Relations in
Cuba | William M. LeoGrande -