Ding-Dong! The Dictator Is Dead

It’s the wee hours of Valentine’s Day 2008 and Raul Castro rouses members of Cuba’s Communist party, announcing his Parkinson’s addled brother has just kicked the bucket. Fidel is dead -- what’s the regime going to do? The spastic commandant had not been seen publicly since the previous July 26 commemoration of the revolution, where he appeared drooling into his beard and nodding feebly as Raul promised progress. Controlling the military, Raul is the de facto honcho and circles the wagons with his henchmen to protect the family interests. “We’re bigger than Yankee steel,” the brute brays after assembling the politburo in a post Fidel crackdown.

Sound implausible? Not to a battery of wonks at the University of Miami’s Institute of Cuban and Cuban American Studies who are conducting a simulation of life in Cuba after Fidel and say the military has its hand in 65 percent of the island’s economy. “This is a serious exercise addressing how those likely to seize power will reshape policy,” explains the institute’s director, Jaime Suchliki, who believes the pinkos won’t buckle. “I wouldn’t pack a suitcase for the trip back yet.” Former CIA spook Brian Latell, author of a book about the Castro brothers, plays Raul. Tickets cost $30; students and faculty enter free with ID. Tonight’s 7:00 lecture will be held at Casa Bacardi. Reservations are required. Call 305-284-2822, or visit casabacardi.iccas.miami.edu.
Fri., Feb. 3, 7 p.m.


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