How does Colomé Ibarra's resignation fit into the regime's succession plans?
AIMEL RÍOS | Washington | 30 Oct 2015 - 11:49 am.
General Abelardo Colomé Ibarra, who was the western hemisphere's most
veteran interior minister (and the only one charged with carrying out
political repression) has just resigned. What does his retirement mean
in the context of the generational succession sought by the regime from
now until 2018, when Raúl Castro announced that he will step down as the
president of the Council of State and Ministers?
First, we need to analyze what exactly "Furry" (as he is known in the
circle of power) is giving up. According to the article published in the
official newspaper of the Communist Party, Granma, Colomé Ibarra is not
only resigning from his position as interior minister, but also as a
member of the State Council. The letter does not specify whether he will
continue serving as a member of the powerful Political Bureau of the
Community Party Central Committee, which calls the shots in Cuban
politics, and as a representative in the Asamblea Nacional del Poder
Popular. In the absence of any clarification in this regard, we must
assume that he will retain these positions.
Although Colomé states his health impedes him from continuing in these
public offices, he will presumably retain those he nominally occupies,
and in the short term. One wonders if at the next PCC congress, to be
held in April 2016, Raúl Castro will relieve him of his position in the
Party's leadership, having another opportunity to honor one of his most
loyal confederates in Cuba's political-military apparatus.
Similarly, we can assume that he will not be a candidate as a
representative in the next elections to the aforementioned Assembly,
slated for 2017. In a country with the most rudimentary guarantees of
the rule of law, the members of said body and civil society
organizations would be calling for Colomé's immediate resignation as a
representative, in light of the fact that he is apparently in no
condition to continue performing his functions.
Raúl Castro has appointed another trusted ally to take General Colomé
Ibarra's place, a veteran of the armed struggle in the Sierra Maestra,
and one year older than his predecessor: General Carlos Fernández
Gondín. Also a representative in the National Assembly, Fernández Gondín
is not a member of the Political Bureau of the PCC or the State Council.
Promoting him to these positions, now or at the 7th
Party Congress, rather than a younger and less conservative figure, will
further retard the process of generational change.
For now General Raúl Castro is still stalling, maintaining a
conservative in one of the regime's most important posts. The changing
of the guard, then, remains intra-generational; that is, exclusively
reserved for members of the regime's historic generation. It is quite
clear that the Interior Ministry is too important to entrust its
leadership to some young upstart. As long as biology permits, it seems
the responsibility for suppressing Cubans' growing discontent will
remain in the regime's most decrepit hands.
With Fernández Gondín at the helm can we expect the ongoing repression
of dissent and tight control over all sectors of Cuban society by the
state security authorities directed by his nefarious ministry.
Source: How does Colomé Ibarra's resignation fit into the regime's
succession plans? | Diario de Cuba -