Frank O. Mora, Department of International Studies, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN

Paper presented at the conference on "Cuba: Integration into the International System: A Multinational Perspective;" The Pell Center for
International Relations and Public Policy, Newport, Rhode Island; 21-24March 2002. Some data presented in this paper is taken from
"Raulismo and the Technocrat-Soldier: The Economic Role of the FAR and Its Implications for Transition in Cuba." Paper presented at
the conference "The Politics of Military Extrication in Comparative Perspective: Lessons for
Cuba," Arrabida, Portugal; 21-22 September 2000.


                                   Few doubt that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba (FAR) will play a central
                                   and decisive role in any potential post-Fidel Castro succession and transition
                                   scenario in Cuba. The FAR have always been an important instrument and
                                   extension of Fidel Castro's power, and, as a result, the institution that was most
                                   often called upon to assist the leadership in achieving key domestic and foreign
                                   policy objectives of the Revolution. The armed forces, because it embodies the
                                   values and desires of the Revolution and its leader, Fidel Castro, holds a very
                                   special and privileged place in the regime. The FAR's reputation for discipline,
                                   efficiency and loyalty has made it the institution of choice for all social and political
                                   experiments of the regime, since its inception. Time and again, they have proven
                                   their loyalty to Cuba and Castro, especially at moments when the regime needed
                                   their support and expertise the most. In the 1960s, FAR played a pivotal role in
                                   providing for internal and external defense as well as for socialist development,
                                   working in administration and economic sectors. Until the late 1980s, the FAR was
                                   at the vanguard of "proletarian internationalism" - serving as a critical instrument of
                                   the regime's foreign policy objectives in the Third World. Finally, starting in the late
                                   1980s, the armed forces was once again called upon to take a leading economic
                                   and political role in helping the regime endure the crisis associated with the end of
                                   the Cold War, the disintegration of the USSR, and the ensuing economic downturn.
                                   As the edifice of Cuban communism began to crumble, the response to this decay
                                   and crisis has been for the military to assume a greater role in areas considered by
                                   the regime to be vital to its survival: economy and state security. Over the past
                                   decade, the military has been distinguished "not only by its cohesion, but also by
                                   the way the regime relies on it to lead in the economic and administrative arenas.
                                   In their dual function of guarding security and improving [economic and]
                                   administrative efficiency… the FAR are virtually assured of playing an important
                                   role… in shaping the transition to the post-Castro future."1 As a result, the FAR
                                   has obtained important material benefits for its loyalty and participation in the
                                   economy, such as compensation for lost budgetary allocations, economic
                                   opportunities for retired military officers and a greater domestic political and
                                   economic role that could become significant in any transitional scenario. However,
                                   it has opened possibilities for other problems such as corruption and favoritism,
                                   deprofessionalization, and the creation of pools of autonomy exacerbated by the
                                   "the uneven nature of economic opportunities that will lead to a differentiation of
                                   interests and positions" at a critical moment of succession and transition. There is
                                   also a general consensus among analysts that Raul Castro, Minister of Defense
                                   and heir apparent to Fidel Castro, will play a central role in any succession
                                   scenario. He has spent the last decade working out a succession plan intended to
                                   secure the regime's survival after Fidel dies.2 The key architect of the FAR's
                                   enhanced role in economic modernization and reorganization of state security is
                                   Raul Castro, second secretary of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC), defense
                                   minister, and an historic figure of the Revolution. Raul Castro's profile and visibility
                                   has enhanced considerably since the early 1990s, as he has become the central
                                   actor, along with the FAR, in helping the regime survive the crisis.3 Raul Castro
                                   has used his power since the early 1990s to "reorganize, rejuvenate and strengthen
                                   three pillars that are critical to the regime's survival and stability after Fidel's death;
                                   the FAR, the central government bureaucracy, and the PCC."4 Moreover, Fidel
                                   Castro has been giving Raul a more public role in running Cuba's government, and,
                                   during the Fifth Congress of the PCC in 1997, where Raul played a very active role
                                   in selecting new members of the party's inner circle, Fidel confirmed Raul as his
                                   successor. In other words, Raul has sought to consolidate his position as the heir
                                   apparent by enhancing not only his role but that of the institution he has led since
                                   1959. In other words, Raul and the FAR's have been central to the process of
                                   economic reform and modernization helping the regime not only weather the storm
                                   of the "Special Period" but secure a post-Fidel Cuba with Raul the military at the
                                   helm. However, the consensus among analysts dissolves as to exactly what
                                   impact and role the FAR and Raul will have on any process of change after Fidel.
                                   Despite official declarations of unity, the FAR, like many other institutions in Cuba,
                                   are prone to division and conflicts of interests that are being exacerbated, in part,
                                   by the tensions generated by the military's increased role in the dollar economy.
                                   As Juan Carlos Espinosa asserts, "the FAR is not a unitary actor and the Cuban
                                   regime is not monolithic."5 Cuba's political, economic and administrative model
                                   was never like that of the Marxist-Leninist regimes in Eastern Europe where
                                   legitimacy was vested in Marxist ideology and the supremacy of the Communist
                                   party. In Cuba, this phenomenon existed only in a formal sense. Legitimacy and
                                   authority wrested in the charismatic-mobilizational capacity of the foundational
                                   revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro. The military-mobilizational type of totalitarianism,
                                   as described by Juan Carlos Espinosa, or the charismatic post-totalitarian variant
                                   explained by Mujal-Leon and Busby, note the importance of the regime's reliance
                                   on Castro's mass mobilization and militarization of public life, coupled with
                                   improvisation and ideology (with its mix of nationalism, anti-Americanism, and
                                   anti-capitalism) as the source of the regime's authority and legitimacy. The end
                                   result has been low levels of institutionalization and, subsequently, factional
                                   conflicts, that although they have seldom challenged the power and authority of the
                                   maximum leader, can flare up in the absence of Fidel Castro. In other words,
                                   though Raul Castro, since the late 1980s, has strengthened his position vis a vis
                                   institutions and centers of influence, his power is far from being absolute and
                                   monolithic which can have important consequences for the process of succession
                                   and transition. In addition to closely examining the enhanced role of Raul and the
                                   FAR, this paper will address the challenges of successful succession and
                                   transition, particularly in light of the underlying factions and conflicts that exist
                                   within the state and military that could surface and make succession difficult and
                                   unruly. After briefly reviewing the evolving nature of the Cuban military, including the
                                   important events and changes surrounding the end of the Cold War and the
                                   court-martial and execution of General Arnaldo Ochoa, the paper will examine
                                   Raulismo and the economic role of the FAR during the late 1980s-early 1990s. This
                                   will be followed by an analysis of the consequences of the FAR's enhanced
                                   economic role, which has created different types of soldiers with divergent interests
                                   that has implications for change in Cuba. This section will also examine the
                                   sources of fragmentation and tension between Raulismo and other groups or
                                   tendencies, even within the FAR that could have important implications for
                                   post-Fidel succession. The penultimate section will explore potential scenarios,
                                   distinguishing between the most and least likely scenario. Finally, the paper
                                   concludes with some comments as to the viability and usefulness of enhanced
                                   cooperation between the U.S. and Cuban military and assessment of what policies
                                   and strategies the U.S. and others can make to prepare the FAR for a future
                                   scenario. Development of FAR's Multiple Roles, 1959-1986 The small guerrilla force
                                   that Fidel Castro commanded in the Sierras in the late 1950s known as the Rebel
                                   Army quickly became the most dominant institution of the Revolution after its
                                   triumph in 1959. The FAR embodied the values associated with the struggle
                                   against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Unlike the Socialist bloc in Europe,
                                   the FAR predated the PCC. The revolutionary regime and leadership emerged from
                                   a military struggle that was continued even after its triumph when the level of
                                   societal militarization was enhanced. The FAR, as the successor to the Rebel
                                   Army, became the preeminent institution of the early stages of the revolutionary
                                   process by virtue of important responsibilities it assumed.6 For the regime, as
                                   Domingo Amuchastegui states elsewhere in this volume, the FAR had the highest
                                   degree of legitimacy and reliability in terms of historical background, prestige,
                                   honesty, loyalty, and efficiency in meeting the complexities and challenges of the
                                   regime's projects. Therefore, the military has been a central pillar of the regime,
                                   critical to guaranteeing the survival of the revolution. Over time, the internalization of
                                   the revolution's assumptions, values and institutional norms, as defined by the
                                   leadership, became a critical component of control. Also, the historical myths and
                                   origins of the military and its ties to the leadership of the revolution were
                                   emphasized in order to secure loyalty and commitment to revolutionary goals.7
                                   Because the leadership trusted the FAR, and technical and organization skills
                                   were lacking in Cuba at the time, the social role of the military was expanded to
                                   non-defense tasks. During the 1959-1961 period, rebel officers were frequently
                                   inserted into key posts in education, the judicial system, land reform institutes and
                                   the police, exalting the institution's prominence in the Revolution. The FAR became
                                   the backbone of Fidel Castro's revolutionary struggle, providing for internal and
                                   external defense and economic development.8 The successful anti-guerrilla
                                   campaigns, particularly in the Escambray, and the Bay of Pigs invasion bolstered
                                   the institution's pride, respect, solidarity and ideological commitment. In the
                                   economic area, the armed forces played a central role, "assuming responsibility for
                                   the management, organization, and implementation of national social and
                                   economic programs."9 Army officers expanded their roles in society moving from
                                   agrarian reform to actual agricultural production and a host of other fields. The
                                   critical role played by the military in Cuba's bureaucracy and economy in the early
                                   years that contributing to the fusion between military and non-military elite
                                   produced what Jorge Dominguez described as "civic-soldier."10

                                   In the early 1970s, the FAR reorganized itself into a more professional and modern
                                   military institution. Sophisticated equipment was acquired and used extensively in
                                   training exercises, and a military education system was tightened as several
                                   specialized schools were created within the Center of Military Studies. Raul Castro
                                   was instrumental in obtaining this training and equipment from the USSR, playing a
                                   leading role in the professionalization of the FAR. This did much to solidify his own
                                   position as leader of Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (MINFAR).

                                   The FAR's professional development was immediately followed by a change of
                                   mission, from a strictly defensive posture to a more offensive and internationalist
                                   role. With the help of Soviet technical advice and equipment, the Cuban armed
                                   forces turned into a premier military institution, serving as a critical instrument of
                                   the regime's foreign policy objectives in Africa and the Middle East.11 Overseas
                                   military activism in defense of "proletarian internationalism" enhanced Fidel
                                   Castro's global profile, but it also increased the prestige and self-confidence of the
                                   FAR adding to its influence at home. Perhaps concerned with the FAR's
                                   preeminence and growing independence, the regime proclaimed a new doctrine,
                                   Guerra de todo el Pueblo (war of all people), not only as a device to mobilize the
                                   population and instill new revolutionary fervor to resist a possible invasion by the
                                   US, but to strengthen political control over the FAR.12

                                   By the mid-1980s, however, the political and economic costs of support for
                                   revolutionary causes proved simply too great for Cuba and the FAR. A new
                                   generation of combat-experienced officers, trained and educated in the Soviet
                                   Union, grew increasingly disgruntled by the conflict in Angola. The growing
                                   discontent within the FAR over Havana's mismanagement of the war in Angola
                                   began to show among some top and middle-ranking officers. Civilian and military
                                   sectors grew progressively apart-and potentially estranged-as result of the growing
                                   technical proficiency and professional experience acquired in overseas campaigns.
                                   Moreover, actions taken by the Polish military in 1981 and the high level of
                                   cooperation between FAR officers and Soviet gorbachevista officers led to anxiety
                                   and distrust within the revolutionary leadership. Fidel and Raul Castro were
                                   particularly concerned with the "dangerous and infectious" effects of Gorbachev's
                                   reforms on Soviet-trained officers. In other words, professionalism and
                                   internationalism weakened, over time, traditional forms of control, putting into
                                   question the FAR's loyalty to the Revolution13. This led to important adjustments
                                   in civil-military relations that emphasized restoring any lost loyalty and control.

                                   Special Period: Economic Crisis and Readjustments

                                   The ideological and economic crisis of the late 1980s caused by the end of the
                                   Cold War and the collapse of the USSR led to a series of dramatic events and
                                   changes in policies. The goal of economic restructuring and "institutional
                                   rectification and purification" during this period of intense crisis and uncertainty was
                                   to secure the survival of the regime against any real or potential internal or external
                                   threat. Reforms in the USSR and the winding down of the Cold War placed
                                   enormous pressure on the Castro regime, particularly as Moscow decided to phase
                                   out all subsidies and aid to Cuba, which totaled about US$5 billion a year. In July
                                   1990 Cuba entered what Fidel Castro characterized as a "special period in time of
                                   peace," which, in the context of tremendous economic pressure, meant austerity,
                                   self-sufficiency and political vigilance. Cuba's principal source of imports,
                                   technology, spare parts, petroleum and markets for the island's exports
                                   disappeared, and, as a result, the economy shrunk by between 35 and 50 percent.
                                   During the Special Period there were some important economic but very little
                                   political reform. In fact, the regime's political grip tightened over all institutions and
                                   society leading to a "siege mentality" that increased the level of state vigilance and

                                   As for the military itself, it implemented the so-called zero-option which consisted
                                   of an "intensive conservation effort undertaken for a wholly autarkic existence…
                                   conserving existing material and equipment, which, along with self sufficiency and
                                   defense readiness, is one of the FAR's three main goals."14 The Tripartite
                                   Agreement of 1988 ended the conflict in Angola bringing an end to the FAR's
                                   overseas military mission. Moreover, the military budget was slashed by nearly half
                                   between 1989 and 1991 and expenditures as a percentage of GNP declined from
                                   3.9 percent in 1987 to 2.4 percent in 1993 and 1.6 percent in 1995.15 Troop
                                   strength declined dramatically, from a high of 180,500 in 1990 to 105,000 in 1995.
                                   Spare parts for aircraft, ships, vehicles and other equipment became scarce,
                                   increasing equipment downtime and the cannibalization or mothballing of existing
                                   equipment. The end of the FAR's overseas combat activities coupled with the
                                   downsizing and curtailment of personnel, equipment and training contributed to the
                                   deprofessionalization and, some have noted, demoralization of the armed forces.16
                                   This problem was exacerbated when FAR officers returning from Angola were put to
                                   work not in the training field but in sugar and other essential crop production. As a
                                   result, a number of important and highly visible defections occurred during the
                                   period of intense adjustment and restructuring (1987-1993) of the MINFAR.

                                   The court-martial and execution of General Arnaldo Ochoa, a decorated Hero of the
                                   Republic, in 1989 on charges of corruption offered an opportunity for the regime to
                                   assert control and weaken the esprit the corps, prestige and autonomy obtained by
                                   the institution after years of professionalization and internationalism.17 General
                                   Ochoa, hugely popular with veterans of Angola, represented the type of officer that
                                   the Castros most feared could lead to a Bonapartist challenge to their power.
                                   Moreover, Case 2/89 offered an opportunity to purge the FAR and the Ministry of
                                   Interior (MININT) of officers suspected of being influenced by glasnost and
                                   perestroika.18 In the end, as Mujal-Leon and Busby note, the execution of Ochoa
                                   and subsequent purges "underscores the existence of tensions associated with the
                                   return of combat-weary and Soviet-trained veterans" from Angola.19

                                   Raul Castro, along with key Raulistas such as General Abelardo Colome Ibarra and
                                   General Carlos Fernandez Gondin, were the key protagonist in the court-martial of
                                   Ochoa. During the court-martial, Ochoa was accused of betrayal, violation of
                                   revolutionary values, and failure to uphold the revolutionary code. Fidel and Raul's
                                   main task was to discredit Ochoa's character and military capabilities while
                                   inducing the forty-seven generals and admirals of the Military Honor Tribunal to
                                   make critical statements about the general as an expression and reaffirmation of
                                   their revolutionary commitment and loyalty to Fidel and Raul.20 The Ochoa case
                                   was a "convenient shorthand for a wider and much more complex official attempt to
                                   resolve several crises confronting the regime simultaneously." The purge and Raul
                                   Castro's prominent role was not only about the regime's attempt to reaffirm its
                                   hierarchical and political control of the military, but it "enabled the faction of military
                                   officers around Raul Castro to consolidate and extend its control over both the
                                   armed forces and security services."21 In the end, the execution of Ochoa and
                                   three other officers from the FAR and the MININT stood as a warning to military
                                   men and state security agencies of the fate that would await them if they ever
                                   crossed Fidel and Raul.22

                                   With respect to MININT, in July 1989 Minister Jose Abrantes and three of his
                                   associate were arrested. Soon the MININT was "cleansed" of "wayward
                                   revolutionaries," including five generals and nearly sixty mid-level officers. The
                                   demise of Abrantes and decimation of MININT was, in part, provoked by the
                                   resentment and envy of Raul Castro, but, more importantly, it was Raul's attempt
                                   to consolidate and extend his control over one of the most important and powerful
                                   sectors and institutions of Cuban society. Raul conclusively guaranteed command
                                   of the state's repressive arm by removing high MININT officials and replacing them
                                   with loyal FAR officers, such as General Colome, deputy vice-minister of MINFAR,
                                   and General Fernandez Gondin, head of FAR counterintelligence, as minister and
                                   vice-minister, respectively, of MININT. In the end, MININT becomes a branch of
                                   MINFAR and, accordingly, of Raulismo. In other words, as a result of MINFAR's
                                   control of state security, it became what it had never been since the early 1960s -
                                   part of the regime's internal security apparatus. In the aftermath of the Ochoa case
                                   with the purge of the FAR and MININT, absorption of MININT into MINFAR, and the
                                   military's growing role in the economy, by 1991 the armed forces, and,
                                   consequently, Raul, had extended its control to areas deemed critical to the
                                   survival of the regime. In short, this important incident allowed Castro to reassert
                                   his authority, and also enabled the faction of the military officers around Raul
                                   Castro to consolidate and extend his control over both the armed forces and the
                                   security services.

                                   Raulismo and the Economic Role of the FAR

                                   As a result of the material and political challenges to society and Revolution, the
                                   leadership turned, once again, as it did in the early 1960s to the armed forces in a
                                   mobilization campaign to protect the revolution by contributing its expertise and
                                   manpower to mending and restructuring the economy. Once the FAR had been
                                   reorganized and control by the revolutionary leadership reasserted, the military
                                   once again became the trusted institution and was given a decisive role in helping
                                   the regime weather a difficult period of crisis. In other words, the technical
                                   capabilities of a "cleansed" and disciplined institution, under the authority of Raul
                                   Castro, contributed to the regime's decision to rely on the FAR in implementing
                                   Raul's proposal for economic modernization. The leadership had to rely on the FAR
                                   because all other institutions, the PCC above all, were failing to perform. The
                                   absence of a civil society and independent entrepreneurs placed the burden of the
                                   economy on the military. There simply was no societal alternative. As Michael
                                   Radu asserts, "since the latter 1980s, economic crisis, institutional sclerosis and
                                   shifts in policy have forced the regime to rely on a trusted pillar of the regime: the
                                   FAR. The militarization of the regime, expressed by the overwhelming role of the
                                   FAR in all aspects of policy and economy seems to be the answer to the
                                   situation."23 Also, as one Latin American diplomat based in Havana aptly
                                   described in 1995, "reality of Cuba in 1995 is that the military is one of the few, if
                                   not the only, institution that really and truly work.

                                   Revolutionary fervor has vanished, and with it the credibility of the party, leaving
                                   only the armed forces to fill the vacuum."24 Even before the collapse of the USSR,
                                   the military had been called upon by Raul, and after Fidel's consent, to manage
                                   some key areas of the economy. Starting with the Third Party Congress in 1986,
                                   Raul insisted on the need to apply military efficiency and discipline to the civilian
                                   economy. When in 1991 Fidel Castro stated that "one of the tasks of the armed
                                   forces is to help the economy of the country during the Special Period," and in
                                   1993 when Raul asserted, in reference to the military's mission, "beans are more
                                   important than cannons," it was clear that the FAR's mission had been redefined.
                                   However it is important to remember, that it was Raul Castro that took over the
                                   process of reorganizing the FAR in a dual effort to enhance the role and
                                   contribution of the military to the national economy while ensuring his control and
                                   support of the military. In other words, Raul played a pivotal role restructuring the
                                   economy and military in effort to secure the survival of the regime and his position
                                   as Fidel's heir apparent.25

                                   The centrality of Raul Castro's role in reorganizing the military while placing it at the
                                   center of his economic reforms and modernization program enhanced the profile of
                                   the FAR, the institution he heads and hopes will help him further consolidate his
                                   position as a post-Fidel era approaches. Raulismo is the process by which Raul
                                   Castro enhanced his role and that of the institution he commands in sectors
                                   deemed critical for the regime during the Special Period, helping him to strengthen
                                   and consolidate his position and that of the FAR in society and, consequently, in a
                                   post-Fidel transition. Raul Castro is more flexible ideologically than his brother and
                                   is aware of the situation on the ground in a way that Fidel is not and realizes that
                                   change is necessary. Raul's more pragmatic approach led him to propose opening
                                   the economy, if only slightly, to a new system of farmer's market and to the
                                   military's direct role in key economic sectors such as agricultural production and
                                   construction (hotels, public utility projects, and industrial centers). Vice-President
                                   Carlos Lage, a top economic official said the farmers' market and other economic
                                   reforms had been "strongly pushed by Raul but with the support of Fidel." Raul was
                                   mentioned repeatedly in the press or by high government, party or military officials
                                   as the "architect," "father," or "brains" behind Cuba's effort to save the revolution
                                   from economic crisis.26 General Senen Casas, the late Minister of Transportation,
                                   proclaimed that the "goal was to follow faithfully Raul's guidance and Fidel's
                                   thinking."27 It is important to note that Raul is not usurping power, but is playing a
                                   more active role in government, economic, and party affairs in preparation for a
                                   transition to a post-Fidel era. This is an essential tenet of Raulismo.

                                   One important component of Raulismo is the increasing number of Raulistas
                                   appointed by Raul to key government, economic and party posts. Raulistas are
                                   either veterans of the 26 of July Movement, who fought alongside Raul in the
                                   Second Eastern Front, or high-ranking MINFAR officers who have demonstrated
                                   repeatedly their commitment and loyalty to Raul Castro but have been appointed
                                   by Raul to key posts in the economy, bureaucracy and MINFAR.28 In the
                                   mid-1990s, Raul personally replaced half of the PCC's first secretaries with younger
                                   pro-Army men, and in the 1997 Party congress he was central in selecting new
                                   members to the Central Committee and Politburo, many of which are Raulista
                                   officers of the MINFAR. Furthermore, high-ranking Raulistas in the military were
                                   named to head the MININT (General Abelardo Colome Ibarra), and key strategic
                                   economic sectors such as the Ministry of Sugar (General Ulises Rosales del Toro,
                                   former Chief of General Staff), Ministry of Fisheries and Merchant Marine (Navy
                                   Capt. Orlando Rodriguez Romay), Ministry of Transport and Ports (Colonel Alvaro
                                   Perez Morales), Gaviota Enterprises (General Luis Perez Rospide), Cuban Civil
                                   Aviation Corporation (Rogelio Acevedo) and other important state institutions and
                                   economic entities. The prominence of Raul is paralleled by the visibility and
                                   growing power of those institutions he and his loyal Raulistas now control. In short,
                                   Raul Castro and his loyalists have assumed a wider range of official duties, playing
                                   a more prominent role in the running of the military, economy, government and (to a
                                   lesser extent) PCC - central pillars of the regime that will help Raul consolidate his
                                   position in a post-Fidel Cuba.

                                   In the late 1980s, Raul initiated a program that saw a number of high-ranking FAR
                                   officers travel to Western Europe to study new business methods and practices
                                   that could be applied in military and civilian industries in Cuba. They also closely
                                   studied and admired the model of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA). Raul
                                   Castro argued that the FAR had the managerial skill, expertise and knowledge of
                                   Western business techniques needed to improve the efficiency of state-run
                                   industries and meet the material and defense needs of the country. Thus, as
                                   Edward Gonzalez notes, "Raul, the Army, and a younger generation of civilian
                                   leaders and technocrats, many personally linked to him, are spearheading the
                                   economic changes that the regime has so far implemented… pressing forward with
                                   limited, incremental reforms to stabilize the economy and prevent a political
                                   crisis."29 According to Phyllis Greene Walker, an expert on the Cuban military,
                                   there is evidence "that goes back to the party congress held in the late 80s, out of
                                   which the decision emerged that the military should try to improve its efficiency and
                                   productivity, through what is known as the sistema de perfeccionamiento
                                   empresarial - business improvement system."30 According to Cuban officials,
                                   "perfeccionamiento empresarial's main objective is to increase maximum
                                   competition and efficiency of the base power, and establish the policies, principles
                                   and procedures that propel the development of innovation, creativity and the
                                   responsibility of all managers and workers."31 As one of the architects of the
                                   reform process asserted in explaining perfeccionamiento empresarial, the goal of
                                   the MINFAR was to provide "new technical and entrepreneurial solutions to old

                                   It is important to note that the FAR's new economic role is not solely an issue of
                                   the leadership turning to a reliable entity for help in a time of crisis. The new role is
                                   also due to simple necessity. The dramatic decline in budget, troops, and
                                   equipment in the early 1990s was a direct result of the disappearance of Soviet
                                   military aid and the crisis of the Cuban economy.33 In the 1990s, the new mission
                                   offered the armed forces a means to compensate for the loss of Soviet largesse
                                   while contributing to the national economy. Specifically, the FAR adopted a plan of
                                   self-sufficiency, particularly in the area of agriculture and production of some
                                   consumer goods. By 1993, the FAR covered 50 percent of its expenditures with
                                   funds generated from its own units. In other words, the armed forces have sought to
                                   generate foreign exchange so as to be able to sustain them as a military force
                                   without being a load on the state or a burden on the rest of the economy.
                                   Nonetheless, the focus of the regime's plan was to have the military contribute
                                   substantively to turning the economy around. As Raul Castro stated in 1993, "the
                                   principal economic, political, ideological, and military responsibility of the FAR is to
                                   continue enhancing the efficiency in production, particularly foodstuffs and
                                   sugar."34 Therefore, since the late 1980s, military goals have emphasized
                                   institutional self-sufficiency and help in producing and distributing much needed
                                   agricultural goods and services.

                                   The most important military is the Union de Empresas Militares (UEM). The UEM
                                   is the largest military-run industrial complex consisting of about 230 factories and
                                   companies. The UEM formerly headed by General Luis Perez Rospide an
                                   important technocrat and Raulista, is now led by Colonel Luis Bernal Leon. Colonel
                                   Bernal is also another important technocrat that received much of his training and
                                   education in management programs in Europe. The UEM, specifically the Ernesto
                                   Che Guevara Military Industrial Enterprise, was the first complex chosen to
                                   undergo restructuring under the new business improvement system. The UEM is
                                   involved in biotechnology, sugar mills, pharmaceuticals, and the production and
                                   repair of light armaments and consumer goods. Since 1996 UEM increased its
                                   participation in the civilian economy, manufacturing clothing, mechanical and
                                   consumer items for the civilian market in addition to providing services for repairs of
                                   industrial equipment and consumer goods. It is believed that 32 percent of the
                                   FAR's production is destined for the island's civilian economic sectors. Also, more
                                   than 75 percent of all repairs and spare parts for civilian industries come from
                                   military enterprises.35

                                   Most UEM's companies have become efficient and profitable. The Che Guevara
                                   Industrial Enterprise has done so well in recent years that new housing for more
                                   than 3,000 of its military and civilian employees was built on the premises of the
                                   complex. This level of penetration and exposure has significantly enhanced the
                                   prestige and influence of the armed forces in the process of economic
                                   modernization and regime stability. The military's stake in the status quo and in an
                                   orderly transition has grown as a result of its contribution to alleviating Cuba's
                                   economic problems and because of the benefits accrued from its new and
                                   dominant economic role. The military's central role in helping the regime overcome
                                   economic crisis has provided it with a greater political profile and influence that will
                                   not lead to extrication but direct involvement in any transition.

                                   In 1992-1993 the military began to expand its control to industries and economic
                                   sectors involved in hard currency transactions. The best-known military enterprise
                                   is a large tourist agency known as the Gaviota Tourism Group. It is the most
                                   important and profitable of the military's enterprises. General Rospide now leads
                                   Gaviota. Gaviota is involved in virtually every aspect of tourism in Cuba, including
                                   luxury hotels, discotheques, restaurants, hunting preserves, marinas, spas, bus
                                   tours, fishing excursions, shopping malls and a large taxicab fleet and airplane
                                   flights which transport tourists with the help of air force pilots.36 There are about
                                   ten enterprises in Gaviota that manage nearly 25% of Cuba's total tourism trade.
                                   Since 1993, Gaviota has established a number of subsidiaries; Texnotec,
                                   dedicated to information technology and electronic equipment; Turcimex, cargo and
                                   mail delivery; TRD (tiendas para la recaudacion de divisas), a department store
                                   chair that sells expensive imported goods, mostly to tourists; and Aerocaribe,
                                   which provides transportation and shipping for tourism; Marinas Gaviota, Arcoiris
                                   and Via Auto Rentals.37

                                   Finally, although not bureaucratically taken over by the MINFAR, the most
                                   important industry in Cuba, sugar, came under the control of a respected and
                                   fiercely loyal Raulista military officer, General Ulises Rosales del Toro, Hero of the
                                   Republic and former chief of the general staff.

                                   After several disastrous sugarcane harvests between 1991 and 1995, mostly due to
                                   the scarcity of fuel, financing, and spare parts, the military stepped in to rescue
                                   this floundering but critically important industry of the Cuban economy applying
                                   many of the military's new organizational and technical methods. However, the
                                   Sugar Ministry was not placed under a strict sistema de perfeccionamiento
                                   empresarial plan. As Juan Carlos Espinosa and Robert Harding note, the
                                   MINFAR's involvement in the ministry is more consistent with the traditional
                                   activities of the military in the 1960s providing labor, leadership and mobilization
                                   than with the business improvement system of recent years.38 The results of the
                                   MINFAR's involvement in the sugar industry have been mixed. Despite signs of
                                   recuperation, since 1996 harvests have not surpassed 4.3 million tons and in 2000
                                   it is expected to be less than four million.

                                   As with many issues related to the Cuban military and its involvement in the
                                   economy, scholars disagree on the long-term consequences of such a role,
                                   particularly as it relates to institutional cohesion and its relationship with the
                                   leadership and party. With respect to party-military relations, if the FAR is
                                   perceived to have succeeded in meeting its economic tasks by the civilian
                                   population, while other civilian institutions remain discredited and impotent, military
                                   leadership may try to assert a new position of independence.39 As Michael Radu
                                   notes, the FAR's dominant economic role has led its leadership to expand its "area
                                   of influence and control… at the expense of all other political and social
                                   institutions."40 Richard Millet points out that an important downside to the
                                   increasing participation of officers in a variety of economic-related tasks, "frequently
                                   involving assignment to entities with no discernible relations to national defense,
                                   tends to erode military skills and produce a new set of interests and loyalties that
                                   may conflict with military necessities."41 Moreover, as with the People's Liberation
                                   Army (PLA) in China, corruption begins to seep through the cracks creating new
                                   priorities and loyalties for officers more interested in making money than in fulfilling
                                   military tasks. The exposure to economic activities and the rise of corruption erode
                                   the central values of any military, such as centralized command, hierarchy,
                                   discipline, intercommunication and the esprit de corps.42 The truth is that at this
                                   time we do not know the full effect of the FAR's involvement. As Espinosa and
                                   Harding have suggested, it could go either way, "the question remains whether
                                   these economic activities increase loyalty and cohesion of the FAR and the
                                   regime, or whether it promotes individualism, capitalist ambitions, and regime
                                   disloyalty."43 Military data is hard to come by. Moreover, the duration, depth and
                                   breadth of economic reforms and military involvement, though clearly growing, is
                                   such that the consequences of the FAR's commercial activities have yet to fully
                                   develop. Proof of rampant corruption is difficult to confirm; however, anecdotal
                                   evidence demonstrates that with relatively easy access to dollars, fuel, food and
                                   vehicles, corruption is increasing. For one thing, economic crisis and reform in
                                   Cuba has contributed to pervasive corruption at all levels of Cuban society. Despite
                                   institutional checks, "the FAR are a part of society and are prone to the same
                                   needs and pressures, whether it's a young draftee stealing gasoline from a truck to
                                   resell in the black market" or an active or retired high-ranking officer skimming
                                   profits or selling goods stolen from the industry he manages.44

                                   Other scholars argue quite the opposite. They maintain that by providing the
                                   military with another important task tied to the survival of the regime, the leadership
                                   has strengthened its ties and control of the armed forces. Despite some initial
                                   signs of problems, "one does not find the kind of institutional cleavages that would
                                   threaten the cohesion of the armed forces, nor is there reason to believe that the
                                   armed forces deviate from the civilian leadership on fundamental issues of domestic
                                   and foreign policy. For elites and troops alike, a system of incentives and rewards
                                   limits problems of disaffection."45 Rather than this new economic mission
                                   contributing to discontent and equivocal loyalties within the FAR, it has offered
                                   many active and retired officers the means of protecting themselves from the
                                   effects of the economic crisis, thus intensifying their ties and stake in the stability
                                   of the regime. Many officers, particularly from the air force, have found that working
                                   in these enterprises provides them with better salaries and access to certain goods
                                   and services not available to the general population. In the early period of economic
                                   restructuring and FAR downsizing, morale was low; however, increasingly, officers
                                   have been given employment opportunities and even managerial positions in
                                   military-run enterprises, particularly Gaviota. As a result, many retired and active
                                   duty officers attained a higher standard of living than most Cubans have. Therefore,
                                   not only does the new economic role help reassure the institutional survival of the
                                   FAR during the Special Period, but it allows many of its high-and middle-ranking
                                   officers to take advantage of emerging and lucrative opportunities in these areas.
                                   This has partially alleviated the problem of morale in the military. By running its
                                   own enterprises, the FAR contributes to the national economy, ensures its own
                                   budget, and maintains a decent standard of living for its officers -- always a key to
                                   military loyalty. The top brass is solidly behind the new economic role and
                                   lower-ranking officers are gradually gaining from FAR's new direction. One scholar
                                   of this interpretation, Juan del Aguila suggests, "a new class of military
                                   entrepreneurs has emerged. Their increasing dependence and focus on these
                                   ventures… [is] raising its [military's] stake in the regime's survival."46 In other
                                   words, these economic opportunities have strengthened the military's ties to the
                                   architect of economic reform and patron of the military's involvement in the
                                   economy - Minister of MINFAR General Raul Castro. In other words, by offering the
                                   military economic opportunities and a higher political profile, Raul Castro
                                   purchased and guaranteed the FAR's support and loyalty for Raulismo.47

                                   It is clear that enhanced economic influence and profile has translated into some
                                   political power. The FAR's political visibility has increased since the early 1990s.
                                   After the Fourth PCC Congress in 1991 that saw military representation in the
                                   Central Committee and Politburo drop to its lowest point ever, largely a function of
                                   military reorganization and the Ochoa case, the military's political influence began
                                   to rise as it assumed a larger role in economic survival. In the Fifth PCC Congress
                                   in 1997 the military was singled out for praise and, subsequently, rewarded for its
                                   service during a period of political and economic crisis. Representation of key
                                   officers in the Central Committee rose from 12.5 percent in 1991 to 17.4 percent in
                                   1997. Moreover, presence of military Raulistas in the Politburo, the highest body of
                                   the PCC, also rose after the 1997 congress. By the end of the 1997 congress, the
                                   total number of military officers in the Politburo was five out of twenty-four, the
                                   highest percentage since 1975. The military's representation in the PCC should not
                                   be overemphasized, however. As Amuchastegui states, what is critical in
                                   understanding the source and indefatigability of the military's power is "its
                                   overwhelming centrality… in every single area of policymaking." As the political
                                   leadership expands the responsibility of the military to various levels of the
                                   government and party, increasingly one finds, at the apex of the political system,
                                   the fusion between high military rank, political responsibility and ministerial duties.
                                   Apart from the military's dominant role in the economy, bureaucracy, and state
                                   security, its representatives, specifically Raulistas, are now at the pinnacle of
                                   political power, in control of strategic economic sectors, security services, and at
                                   the highest levels of the PCC.

                                   Categorization and Fragmentation: The FAR and Tensions with Raulismo The
                                   personalist-mobilizational nature of the Castro regime coupled with the effects of
                                   the reorganization and readjustments of the Cuban military, economy and society
                                   has produced certain divisions or factions that could represent a challenge to
                                   Raul's project of consolidating power. Juan Carlos Espinosa and Juan Benemelis
                                   note in separate studies that the country's political culture and tradition is one of
                                   factionalism between competing groups struggling for power and dominance.
                                   Rather than destroying all vestiges of factionalism, Fidel Castro actually
                                   encourages the existence of competing groups as long as they remain loyal to his
                                   power and project. As mentioned above, the FAR is not a unitary actor and the
                                   regime is not monolithic. In fact, Castro's decision-making style is one in which "he
                                   hovers above the fray of debate with feigned detachment before casting his
                                   (decisive) vote with courtiers vying for his favor up till the last moment. In the
                                   dictator's absence, the high level of FAR factionalism and regime fragmentation
                                   may surprise some observers who have confused unanimity with unity."48 In other
                                   words, mobilizational regimes so dependent on the charisma and unity provided by
                                   the leader are inherently vulnerable and prone to collapse in the absence the ruler.
                                   According to Juan Benemelis, Fidel Castro has not provided a clear set of legal
                                   mechanisms that will infuse his successor with legitimacy.49 Benemelis, a skeptic
                                   of the inevitability of Raul's succession, asserts that "the disappearance of Fidel
                                   Castro, no mater when it occurs, will create a vacuum of power that will lead to a
                                   long and cruel struggle among factions within the armed forces, state bureaucracy,
                                   technocrats and the historical elite with possibilities of violence." Therefore, it's very
                                   plausible that in the absence of Fidel Castro, Cuba may fall back to its tradition of
                                   political infighting as competing groups struggle for control and influence in a
                                   post-Fidel Cuba. This represents an important challenge to Raulismo.

                                   Some analysts have attempted to identify many of these informal groups or
                                   factions within different areas of the Cuban state and society. This section,
                                   however, will only attempt to explore cleavages within the armed forces that could
                                   potentially create difficulties for Raulismo. There are three fissures that have
                                   surfaced in the last ten to twelve years caused by the military's role in the
                                   economy and consequences associated with Raul Castro's restructuring and
                                   reorganization (particularly after the Ochoa case) of Cuban society, state and
                                   armed forces. First, the FAR's massive contribution to the economy led to the
                                   development of three types of soldiers as described by Jorge Dominguez, Frank O.
                                   Mora, and Juan Carlos Espinosa.50 The desegregation of the FAR according to
                                   specific economic roles and access to the dollar economy has not only weakened
                                   unity but it has created disparate and conflicting set of interests and, potentially,

                                   In the early stages of the revolution, because of a shortage of labor, army officers
                                   were assigned to all sorts of economic, military and administrative tasks, ranging
                                   from agricultural production to labor construction and natural disaster relief. The
                                   military and civilian responsibilities were fused to produce what Jorge Dominguez
                                   called "civic-soldier." In the 1970s the Youth Labor Movement (Ejercito Juvenil de
                                   Trabajo, EJT) assumed many of the agricultural and construction responsibilities as
                                   the FAR professionalized, but in the late 1980s, the FAR, along with the EJT,
                                   expanded its role organizing agricultural and construction units. With the goal of
                                   self-sufficiency, the FAR began to manage farms and lead construction units, thus
                                   returning to the "traditional military industries of the old economy" of the
                                   civic-soldier. Many high-ranking civic-soldiers are closely tied to the socialist
                                   economy, thus have limited access to foreign exchange.

                                   The second type of soldier to emerge in the 1990s, particularly as a result of the
                                   implementation of the sistema de perfeccionamiento empresarial, was what Frank
                                   O. Mora describes as the "technocrat-soldier." This soldier is defined as a
                                   "manager and administrator, in addition to being a soldier." He implements modern
                                   organizational and technical business practices and methods to enhance the
                                   efficiency and productivity of military and civilian industries during a period of crisis
                                   and change for the regime. The technocrat-soldier applies his management training
                                   to the FAR's military-industrial complex, i.e. UEM. The technocrat-soldier is also
                                   present in a number of state enterprises and ministries such as transportation,
                                   fisheries, sugar, communication, state reserves and aviation. The principal
                                   technocrat-soldiers, like General Julio Casas Regueiro (Deputy Minister of MINFAR
                                   and head of the ministry's Department of Economic Affairs), General Luis Perez
                                   Rospide, Colonel Armando Perez Betancourt, and Colonel Eladio Fernandez
                                   Civico, are all logistics experts and/or engineers trained in management
                                   techniques. More importantly, they are all well-known Raulistas. General Casas
                                   heads the large Grupo de Administracion Empresarial, SA (GAESA) that oversees
                                   all these operations. The executive director of GAESA is Major Luis Alberto
                                   Rodriguez, son in law of Raul Castro.

                                   The third variant of soldier is entrepreneur-soldier. According to Juan Carlos
                                   Espinosa, this officer is a "technocat-soldier with greater autonomy and with
                                   greater access to the international dollar economy." He is involved in commercial
                                   enterprises, mixed enterprises, and sociedades anonimas (privately run,
                                   state-owned corporations), particularly those associated with new economic
                                   ventures, such as tourism, trade, telecommunications and banking, many of which
                                   are financed by foreign investors. Many of these soldiers, active and retired,
                                   represent many profitable enterprises. In addition to Gaviota, S.A., some of these
                                   enterprises include Habanos (tobacco monopoly), Omnivideo (film and video
                                   distribution), CIMEX (import-export monopoly), COPEXTEL (electronics
                                   conglomerate), and ETECSA (telecommunications). Some entrepreneur-soldiers
                                   are Raulistas. However, since many of these enterprises do not necessarily
                                   respond to any state organism and are led by retired MINFAR and MININT officers
                                   (possessing a significant amount of influence as a result of their autonomy and
                                   access to dollars) many operate very much outside of Raul's sphere of influence
                                   and control. As Espinosa notes, "while all three kinds of soldiers can parlay their
                                   positions into privilege, status, and some sort of personal financial benefit, it is the
                                   entrepreneur-soldier who has the best environment in which to maximize their
                                   potential" for profit and political influence. Of course, the negative consequence of
                                   this kind of role and soldier is "corruption, insubordination, and the creation of pools
                                   of autonomy incompatible with the interest of the state" and that of Raul.

                                   There are several important cases since 1989 of corruption that directly or indirectly
                                   involve FAR officers. For example, in 1995 the Minister and Vice-minister of
                                   Domestic Trade, Colonels Manuel Vila Sosa and Manuel Sanz Farras,
                                   respectively, were removed after allegations of financial fraud. Also, General Tomas
                                   Benitez, former director of Gaviota, was fired for receiving commissions from foreign
                                   clients. The most obvious case of blatant corruption within the military is that of
                                   General Julio Casas Regueiro, major guiding hand of the military's commercial
                                   involvement and a man close to Raul Castro tainted by charges of corruption in his
                                   dealings on the economic front.51 He is occasionally accused of establishing a
                                   system of privilege around himself and his staff. However, because of his close ties
                                   to Raul and important role in the reform process, he remains, for the time being,

                                   A second important fissure that could represent problems for Raul's succession is
                                   the command structure of the FAR. It is important to remember that much of Fidel
                                   Castro's legitimacy among elite emanates from his power and influence over
                                   institutions and his political and moral authority, particularly within the FAR. Raul
                                   Castro, by virtue of being defense minister, possesses institutional authority but
                                   lacks the political and moral component needed to mobilize support and
                                   consolidate power after Fidel has past from the scene.52 The organization and
                                   military structure is decentralized into the three independent army corps
                                   subordinated, in a formal sense, to the Minister of MINFAR and the Commander in
                                   Chief. The structure of MINFAR is clearly under the direction of Raulistas, but
                                   those commanding troops in the three regional armies are led by generals
                                   promoted by and loyal to Fidel Castro, many of them having fought with General
                                   Ochoa in Africa.53 Since their promotions and longevity of command is due to
                                   Fidel their loyalty is, in a substantive and direct sense, to the maximum leader.
                                   According to much anecdotal evidence, there is much rancor, suspicion, and
                                   jealousy between MINFAR bureaucrats (Raulistas) and commanders in the field. It
                                   is important to note that since 1998, perhaps in order to counter this potential
                                   challenge, Raul Castro has visited each of the three commands at least two to
                                   three times a year in an effort to establish a more direct and personal relationship
                                   with the commanders and troops.

                                   The final cleavage within the FAR that can potentially become a source of problems
                                   for Raul at the time of succession is generational. Alvaro Alba has recently
                                   emphasized that since the early 1990s the regime has dramatically slowed the
                                   process of promoting many mid-ranking officers, preferring to promote some
                                   colonels while keeping most general officers in service beyond retirement.54 Most
                                   promotions within the FAR were due to the need to fill positions left vacant after
                                   several FAR generals were reassigned to MININT. In other words, there has been
                                   much lateral movement within the highest levels of the FAR and between the armed
                                   forces and MININT, but limited vertical ascending from within the FAR. One notable
                                   exception is Army General Alvaro Lopez Miera, Chief of the General Staff and
                                   Vice-Minister, who between 1980 and 1989 served as a colonel in several posts in
                                   the Eastern Army, was rapidly promoted surpassing many brigade and division
                                   generals ultimately awarded the title of Hero of the Republic.

                                   Another related development that is the cause of much discontent among younger
                                   generation of officers was the decision of the regime to reinstate to important
                                   positions in the armed forces several veterans who had retired from the FAR.
                                   Today, there is no possibility of promotion based on professional experience or
                                   accomplishments, but rather the criteria has changed to an emphasis on political
                                   loyalty and commitment to the regime and corp. This has resulted in the recycling
                                   of old military elite with established political credentials back into key positions in
                                   the military and bureaucracy, freezing the promotion of those below the rank of
                                   colonel with extensive professional experience, even battlefield experience, but no
                                   record of political and ideological commitment. Two examples of retired officers that
                                   were reinstated, not because of their competence but their proven loyalty to Raul
                                   are General Sixto Batista Santana, named Chief of the Political-Ideological
                                   Directorate of the MINFAR in 2001, and General Antonio Enrique Lusson Battle,
                                   assigned to command Special Troops. There is some anecdotal evidence to
                                   suggests that officers below the rank of colonel are demoralized and have no
                                   interest in contributing to the continuity of the regime under Raul, who they blame
                                   for the deprofessionalization of the FAR.55 Also, many of these officers resent the
                                   increasing levels of corruption and the division within the military between those
                                   with access to the dollar economy (many high ranking active and retired officers)
                                   and those mid-ranking cadres that are prohibited from participating. At the moment
                                   of succession, the issue is perhaps not so much whether the commander will
                                   support Raul but whether the rest of the officer corps will stand behind the
                                   commanders and Raul.

                                   Once again, this analysis is not meant to put in doubt the high probability that
                                   Raul, after more than a decade of paving the path for his own succession, will play
                                   a central role in the succession. This discussion of cleavages within the armed
                                   forces is only to point out that that the military is not monolithic and, subsequently,
                                   Raul's power and succession is not absolute or inevitable.


                                   Not only is change inevitable, but also the preeminence of Raulismo indicates that
                                   that transition to a post-Castro Cuba has begun. The only thing in doubt is the
                                   direction or path of the transition. This section will examine three potential
                                   post-Fidel scenarios, specifically in terms of the role played by the two key
                                   variables or actors examined in this paper: the FAR and Raulismo. Though the
                                   scenarios remain preliminary and speculative, they are based on the evidence and
                                   analysis discussed in this paper. They are ranked from weakest to strongest in
                                   likelihood. The first path is one in which the military, because of deepening
                                   cleavages (along ideological and economic interest lines) and increasing societal
                                   pressure for real reform disintegrates unable to support Raul's project or control a
                                   social protest. This collapse scenario could lead to a popular revolt that would
                                   spread to sectors of the military. This possibility is least likely largely because
                                   society remains powerless unable to mount or organize any challenge during the
                                   transition. Moreover, the military maintains the coercive capacity, along with
                                   MININT, to suppress societal upheaval. Also, all evidence suggests that elite within
                                   the regime will dominate the immediate post-Castro era. Despite the rifts within the
                                   FAR, they are not pronounced enough to lead to the disintegration of the armed
                                   forces. In the last ten to twelve years, Raul Castro has made every effort to keep
                                   the military a unified and cohesive institution supportive of his project.

                                   The second possible scenario, argued by Cuba military analyst Juan Benemelis, is
                                   based on the notion that Raul's power and leadership is superficial and largely a
                                   function and extension of Fidel's overwhelming legitimacy, particularly within the
                                   armed forces. Raul does not possess the authority or mass-based support that
                                   Fidel enjoys. Therefore, Raul will not be a dominant actor as his prerogatives
                                   diminish substantially when Fidel is gone. Benemelis argues that Raul has not
                                   been able to impose absolute and vertical control over the FAR. The Raulistas
                                   within MINFAR (having no command of troops) would be pushed aside by more
                                   professional FAR officers in the regional commands. As a result, Raul would be
                                   obligated to accommodate and provide concessions to certain groups and officers,
                                   redistributing power and authority among competing groups within the FAR.
                                   Another direction within this scenario is the military discarding Raul and his
                                   entourage in favor of a civilian-military government that pushes for greater
                                   integration into the international system and acceleration of political and economic
                                   reform. Despite the cleavages and fragmentation, it is unlikely that the military
                                   would turn against Raul. It is true that Raul will not be able to govern like Fidel
                                   (using ideological and mobilizational tactics); therefore, he will have to change the
                                   present structure via a distribution of functions and political influence. However,
                                   Benemelis underestimates Raulismo (i.e., carefully nurturing and promoting military
                                   and civilian leaders loyal to him and his economic reforms), and assumes that the
                                   military after years of obtaining economic benefits will not have a stake in ensuring
                                   a peaceful and orderly transition under Raul's leadership. In other words, the FAR
                                   is motivated not by any loyalty to a figure possessing moral or revolutionary
                                   authority, but by a self-interested calculation that Raul is the leader that will ensure
                                   their economic privileges and political influence are not threatened. Finally, as
                                   noted by a former FAR officer in exile since 1995, "the military command does not
                                   recognize nor trust the authority or legitimacy of civilians, such as Ricardo Alarcon
                                   and Carlos Lage, to assume maximum direction of the government."56

                                   The most likely path is one that has been discussed by the author in a previous
                                   work and Juan Carlos Espinosa, an expert on Cuban society and military.57 This
                                   option argues that a Raulista succession will lead to "the creation of a
                                   military-civilian government that maintains the current model, but of a soft variant
                                   that allows greater economic freedoms, while restricting political freedoms, i.e. the
                                   Chinese model."58 Raul Castro has on several occasions, along with other
                                   powerful leaders such as Abelardo Colome, and Ramiro Valdes, expressed interest
                                   in "Cubanizing" the Chinese model. In fact, this author has previously argued that
                                   Raulismo is, in many ways, an attempt to adopt the Chinese model with Cuban
                                   characteristics.59 Raul Castro would be joined by a group of civilian technocrats
                                   and reformers (promoted by Raul to important positions in the party, government,
                                   and bureaucracy during the last ten years), many of them under the age of
                                   forty-five, who will provide technical and political support to Raul's project. In this
                                   scenario, "the FAR maintains their high levels of prerogatives, medium-high levels
                                   of autonomy, low levels of control and contestation from civilians." Raul Castro will
                                   have to negotiate and share some power with hard-liners and other influential
                                   elements in the government and bureaucracy, but it will not be, as some have
                                   suggested "a collective exercise in shared responsibility and authority" as was the
                                   case in the immediate post-Stalin period in the USSR.60 Finally, Raul Castro
                                   would take a more pragmatic approach toward the United States hoping to
                                   normalize relations with Washington as he attempts to consolidate his position and
                                   program. This process will open multiple opportunities for economic and political
                                   reforms as the regime focuses more on its survival than ideological purity of the
                                   revolution and anti-Americanism.

                                   Conclusions: U.S. Policies and Strategies

                                   The expansion of the FAR's participation in the economy and the concomitant rise
                                   of the technocrat and entrepreneur-soldier was the result of the intersection
                                   between the need for increased efficiency, heightened loyalty, and incorruptibility
                                   ascribed to the military, and the need to maintain regime loyalty amidst the
                                   precipitous economic decline of the Special Period. Military involvement in the
                                   economy was motivated by a need to exploit its manpower and managerial
                                   expertise to help the ravaged Cuban economy, and a strategy of offering economic
                                   opportunities to the compensate for a loss of resources and personnel while giving
                                   officers a stake in the survival of the regime. The military's participation in the
                                   economy and opportunities in lucrative industries mitigated any morale problem
                                   that may have emerged during the early period of restructuring and mission
                                   change. It also helped strengthen and consolidate ties between the armed forces
                                   and Raul Castro, the author of economic modernization and proponent of the FAR's
                                   authoritative role in the economy and society. Specifically, Raul Castro is
                                   responsible for instituting a system of incentives and rewards, symbolic or real,
                                   which not only mitigated disaffection but also, more importantly, secured a largely
                                   committed military loyal to the regime and his leadership. Raul Castro's dominant
                                   role in restructuring and reorienting Cuban institutions and economy during a period
                                   of crisis demonstrates his growing indispensability for the stability and future of the
                                   Revolution. The objective of Raulismo is not limited to surviving the crisis of the
                                   Special Period, but to securing his plan of succeeding Fidel with the full support of
                                   the FAR.

                                   The restructuring and readjustments of the last decade in the Cuban military,
                                   particularly in its role in the economy and heightening of its political profile, has
                                   assured it a decisive role in a post-Fidel transition. Under any conceivable scenario
                                   the military will continue to be a key, decisive player. This author wholeheartedly
                                   concurs with the notion stated by others that the military will not extricate itself
                                   from any process of political change. On the contrary, the FAR have played a
                                   crucial role in helping the regime extricate itself from its internal and external crisis.
                                   They have "laid the foundations for a stable restructuring and continuity of the
                                   regime," guaranteeing its place as the dominant actor in Cuban politics and

                                   A powerful and proud institution, the armed forces would see any attempt to
                                   undermine the regime and Raulismo as a direct threat to its interests and the
                                   stability of the regime and Revolution. Their control under the Castro regime of key
                                   economic sectors will make it more difficult in the future to dislodge them from
                                   these activities and to limit their role to a strictly military one when the transition
                                   begins. The military will attempt to guide and shape a transition that safeguards its
                                   newfound economic and political interests and privileges. Raulismo has insured
                                   that the military play exactly that role in the expectation that the military equates
                                   its interests with those of Raul Castro.

                                   At the moment, there is very limited contact between the U.S. and Cuban
                                   militaries. This is a function of a high level of mutual distrust and conflict in bilateral
                                   relations that both sides seem to encourage. After all, it has been the modus
                                   vivendi for the last 40 years. However, on two occasions in 2001, Raul Castro
                                   indicated repeatedly that he favors better relations with the United States before
                                   Fidel is gone from the scene. More importantly, in the last few years the FAR has
                                   spearheaded Raul's (with Fidel's cautious blessing) efforts to reach out to the U.S.
                                   armed forces. In 2001, Raul Castro appointed General Jesus Bermudez Cutino,
                                   former head of the FAR's counterintelligence unit, director of the Center for Defense
                                   Information Studies (CDIS). According to Stratfor, the CDIS is a think tank linked to
                                   the FAR charged "with building a favorable impression of the FAR in the Pentagon
                                   and U.S. defense establishment." Since 1998, the Center for Defense Information
                                   (CDI), a Washington-based think tank, has sponsored several delegations, led by
                                   retired four-star U.S. generals (Atkeson, Sheehan, Wilhelm, and McCaffrey), to the
                                   island to hold meetings with CDIS officials and active FAR officers.

                                   The results and recommendations that have come from these meetings offer
                                   interesting and useful starting points for enhanced cooperation between the U.S.
                                   and Cuban militaries. There are several security issues of common interests, such
                                   as terrorism, international crime, arms and drug trafficking, and illegal migration,
                                   that can become the bases upon which confidence building measures and, thus,
                                   military to military cooperation can be enhanced. Steps to increase confidence and
                                   understanding (such as the greater exchange of information and joint operations)
                                   between the two sides about each other's intentions can lead to a more stable
                                   relationship and enhanced levels of trust that will be useful in the immediate
                                   post-Fidel period. During the CDIS-CDI meetings in February 2001, both
                                   delegations discussed another important mechanism to enhance communication
                                   and cooperation: possibilities for exchanging curriculum materials from
                                   military-related institutions and programs for the exchange of lectures between the
                                   war colleges. Greater levels of interaction and cooperation will ease concerns
                                   within the FAR that the U.S. will not intervene or seek to take advantage during the
                                   transition. The U.S., through its military, can help encourage the forces of political
                                   liberalization and economic reform.

                                   Previous efforts to reach out to the FAR circumventing the leadership in Havana in
                                   an effort to undermine the regime have been counterproductive. It has had the
                                   opposite effect of building trust and enhancing military to military contacts; it is
                                   viewed as a dishonest attempt to subvert the regime rather than building bridges.
                                   For example, in January 1997, the U.S. issued a report titled "Support for a
                                   Democratic Transition" that called on the military to lead the transition to
                                   democracy in return for assistance and recognition. This measure only contributed
                                   to a siege mentality reaction on the part of the regime and military because it was
                                   viewed as an attempt to undermine the regime discipline and loyalty of the FAR.
                                   The Cuban government immediately initiated a national campaign to collect the
                                   signatures of soldiers who "supported the revolution and rejected the interventionist
                                   policy of the United States." In a highly ceremonial event in March, FAR and
                                   MININT officers presented the Castros with books containing more than 200,000
                                   loyalty signatures.61 More nuance and less interventionist measures, such as
                                   those described above, will do more to advance dialogue and understanding
                                   between the militaries than an offer of support or assistance if the military overthrew
                                   the regime.

                                   *Frank O. Mora, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of International Studies and J.S. Seidman Research
                                   Fellow at Rhodes College since 1994. He received his B.A. from The George Washington University
                                   (1987) and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Miami (1993). He is the author of several works on
                                   Latin American democratization and civil society, U.S.-Latin American relations, drug trafficking in the
                                   Americas, Paraguayan politics and foreign policy, and Cuban civil-military relations. His work has
                                   been published in such academic journals as the Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs,
                                   Bulletin of Latin American Research, Third World Quarterly, Foro Internacional (Mexico), and Airpower
                                   Journal. In 1999 Professor Mora published an article titled, “From Fidelismo to Raulismo: Civilian
                                   Control of the Military in Cuba,” that was published in Problems of Post-Communism. Presently, Dr.
                                   Mora is editing a special issue of Problems of Post-Communism on Cuban politics and society since
                                   the end of the Cold War that will be published in early-2001. Professor Mora has worked as a
                                   consultant for the U.S. Air Force, National Democratic Institute, and the Division of Inter-American
                                   Affairs of the U.S Department of Defense. Professor Mora has appeared on several national and
                                   international media outlets, including Radio Marti and CBS Telenoticias.