Global Politics

Cuba over Raul

(You have been to Cuba many times but something interesting happened last time you were there under the auspices of Raul Castro. What was it?) on Saturday morning I was sitting on a park bench and met a stranger and the police came along and they were accusing me of handing out the 1948 UN declaration of human rights, they handcuffed the other man and took us in the car. They didn't handcuff me but kept asking me about if I was handing out this literature. And after a while they were convinced this was true and let me go. Now under the Fidel regime we would've been kept longer, we could've had extra crimes alleged against us. one of the major human rights activists in Cuba has said under Raul people are more of catch and release. So things are slightly better, not necessarily opening though, under human rights. (So the style has changed?) there's not additional political repression, but probably not less also. (You went to a party with a lot of rum going around and spoke to people, artists, opinion shapers. Tell us about that night). They kept talking about the Fidel years in the past tense. It seemed like repression nostalgia. (Have you ever met Raul?) Never. (What else is new?) Raul turns 77 years old so he doesn't see a massive future to play for. He's working on the next generation and transition. Raul I think is trying to avoid the Cuban mentality of who will be the next dictator.

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