Fidel Castro politically dead: Former revolutionary


Mexico City : Former Cuban revolutionary Huber Matos, now a bitter critic of Cuban authorities and exiled in Miami, said Monday Fidel Castro is politically “dead” and Raul Castro will govern without bearing his brother in mind.

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In an interview with the Mexican radio station Acir, Matos said the designation of Jose Ramon Machado Ventura as number two in the Cuban hierarchy was proof that Raul Castro was in charge.

“Raul has put as second-in-command a man he trusts … a hard-line man, who is not very popular, but he is Raul Castro’s man,” Matos said.

Raul Castro, 76, was elected Sunday to succeed his 81-year-old brother Fidel, as Cuban leader. Machado Ventura, 77, was elected second-in-command.

“Really my opinion is that Fidel is so damaged mentally that even Raul has said, ‘no, no, we can no longer count on Fidel’. Raul is in command today,” the former revolutionary said.

“Fidel is damaged to a great extent,” Matos, 89, said. “He is a completely useless man in his mental capacity … He is a dead man from the point of view of his capacity as a leader.”

But Matos, author of “How Night Fell”, described the change as a “dynastic succession,” from which one can only expect “more of the same.”

The only difference, he said, is that Cuba is economically, socially and politically ever more worn-out.

Matos took part in the revolution that Fidel Castro led to success in January 1959, but he resigned from the government only a few months later, mainly on disagreements over the communist course the regime was taking. He was in prison in Cuba for 20 years, and later moved to Miami.