The head of Cubas legislature, Ricardo Alarcon, says he knows why his country has such old leaders — the CIA never managed to assassinate them.
Alarcon made the comments during an interview after the ruling Communist Partys first Congress in 14 years unveiled a newly selected Political Buro last week whose ages averaged 68.
Raul Castro, 79, replaced his 84-year-old brother Fidel as first secretary. José Ramón Machado Ventura, 80, was named second secretary. The partys No. 3, Ramiro Valdés, turned 79 Thursday.
Alarcon, 73 and head of the National Assembly of Peoples Power, acknowledged in the interview with the Web site Progreso Semanal that the islands leadership needs rejuvenation.
But, well, what can we do? he said. The revolution is already 52 years old (and) from the start, an essential part of the policy promoted by the United States was the physical liquidation of the Cuban leaders.
Because they failed, theres a lot of us left. So, what are we going to do? Self-destruct? In other words, do what the CIA couldnt do? Alarcon added. There is no need to remove an octogenarian from the (partys) Central Committee just because the Empire couldnt kill him earlier.
The text of the interview did not indicate whether Alarcon was joking or being serious, but he went on to complain that news reports on Cubas gerontocracy failed to note younger party members in lower leadership posts.
Why dont they talk about the majority of the Central Committee members, who were born after the Castro revolutions victory in 1959, he asked.
To read the complete article, visit www.miamiherald.com.