Mainstream media articles heralding Fidel Castro's "presidency" coming to a bittersweet end are so Tuesday afternoon. The younger, hipper generation of Cuba's Communist dictatorship is the real story!
Just look at how the Washington Post's Manuel Roig-Franzia reports how "A New Generation Stands By in Cuba" in the February 21 edition of Granma, er, the Post.:
MEXICO CITY, Feb. 20 -- They've traveled the world. Surfed the Web. Zinged text messages. And watched news direct from the BBC and CNN, rather than filtered through a government censor.
Bombarded by ideas from abroad, a generation of Cuban political leaders who came of age after Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution is preparing to inherit it. Many of them, now in their 40s and 50s, have developed a more open political outlook than their fathers, partly because of the thriving black market in outlawed Internet connections that in Cuba have cracked open a window on the world.
Wow, can you feel that breeze? The winds of change blowing into Cuba from this new "window on the world"? Well, not exactly.
Cuban foreign minister Felipe Pérez Roque, Roig-Franzia's poster boy for a tech-savvy, hipper Cuban government, is thoroughly committed to la revolución. Roig-Franzia buries this fact deep in his article (paragraphs 18 and 19 of 22):
Pérez Roque was named foreign minister in 1999 when Fidel Castro fired his then-foreign minister, Roberto Robaina, a 30-something moderate who wore his hair long and looked out of place among the "dinosauros" of Fidel's inner circle. Before being ousted for reportedly favoring reforms, Robaina had been considered a future presidential contender.
By contrast, Pérez Roque emerged immediately as one of the staunchest defenders of Fidel's policies. Echoing a common Cuban saying, Cuesta said he has been "more like the pope than pope" in terms of his loyalty to the Castro doctrine.