Thursday, June 14, 2007

When the landlord knocks on the door

Just how important is Hugo Chavez and his petrodollars to the survival of the Castro regime?

Very, as you can see from the photograph above.

In the good old days when Cuba was a far-flung colonial outpost of the Soviet Empire, Fidel Castro and his cronies would pull out all stops to welcome to Havana even mid-ranking Russian officials.

And why not? Moscow then literally bankrolled the regime.

But at least those dour Soviets stuck to protocol and planned and announced their visits
well ahead of time.

Not so with Hugo Chavez.

The Venezuelan president arrives in Havana more or less whenever he feels like it – and gets treated by the top representatives of the regime with all the pomp and colour (and media coverage) befitting a visiting potentate. Or an absent landlord. Or a very rich if slightly dotty uncle.

That is why the photograph above shows Chavez, currently on an unscheduled visit to Havana, being shown around the Malecon by the three men deemed by many to be the key to Cuba's immediate future: Raul Castro, Carlos Lage and Felipe Perez Roque.

And yes, at least two of the Cubans are laughing at the Venezuelan's joke.

Photo: Ernesto Matrascusa (Reuters)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the RED shirt. So subtle, dignified and, uh, presidential. Just what a true statesman would wear (constantly). Truly the mark of an imaginative and original mind. The only possible improvement would be a "Che" shirt (a red one, obviously). Maybe next visit.

But, dear me, Castro #2 looks rather dowdy, not to say frumpy. A bit too old and pudgy to play soldier, perhaps. Still, maybe it's just bad lighting. People of a certain age need to be more careful about that sort of thing.

As for the P-R guy on the right, those are the best Mafia sunglasses I've seen in some time. Of course, I'm sure that has nothing to do with his character.

12:43 am  

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