Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Big news in Havana 2

Have you been wondering what's likely to happen to that awful Felipe Perez Roque now he has been sacked by Raul Castro from his high-flying job as Minister for Foreign Affairs? Perhaps not. Here is a possible clue, anyway.

Cast your mind back to 1999 when the then thirtysomething Perez Roque was appointed to the his new position to replace Roberto "Robertico" Robaina, another young Communist Party brown-nose who had been a favourite of Fidel Castro.

There was never any official explanation for the unexpected demotion of Robaina, who was not only stripped of his job but in due course was also kicked out of the Communist Party, effectively becoming persona non grata in his own country.

Unlike his successor, Robaina was a colourful character by Castroist standards. he enjoyed wearing fashionable jeans, pastel-coloured sports coats over his t-shirts, and not surprisingly, spending time in capitalist cities. Why, he even paid a visit to Sydney in the mid 1990s, where he told a group of Castro apologists (sigh ...) that the Cuban "revolution" remained highly popular among Cubans.

Before too long, Robaina was tagged by the international media as yes, a "reformer", a description he apparently started to take rather seriously, which more or less sealed his fate with the Castro bothers.

Last we heard, he was still living in relative obscurity in Cuba, pretending to be a painter and trying to sell his work over the Internet.


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