28 New BMWs for Raul's Potholes

Wednesday, December 30, 2009
El Nuevo Herald newspaper is running an investigative series about Spanish-Venezuelan businessman Ricardo Fernandez Barruecos, who after amassing a billionaire fortune under the government of Hugo Chavez was later imprisoned in Venezuela for bank fraud.

In other words, he bit the crooked hand that fed him.

But the most interesting part of the series, thus far, has been the revelation of 28 BMWs that Fernandez sent from Venezuela to Cuba, in order to gain favor with his friend, General Raul Castro.

Fernandez did so thinking that once Fidel dies and Raul inherits absolute power, he would be positioned to "take advantage of failed companies in Cuba."

In other words, to engage in mafia style acquisitions, similar to those that took place in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union pursuant to the collapse of communism.

Ironically, this revelation was published within days of another story in El Nuevo Herald about the decrepit state of Cuba's streets. According to official statistics, of the 29,600 kilometers of paved roads in Cuba -- the grand majority of which were constructed before 1959 -- almost 60 percent are in dire need of repair.

No wonder Raul needs so many BMWs.