An Apology for Cuba's Military Dictatorship

Friday, June 27, 2014
American University Professor William LeoGrande has provided us with a text-book example of how to apologize for Cuba's military dictatorship.

He writes in The Huffington Post:

"Today, eight ministries are led by career military officers, three of whom are still on active duty. Of the 10 vice-presidents of the Council of Ministers, five are active-duty or former career military officers, not counting Raúl himself. Of the 13 members of the Political Bureau of the Cuban Communist Party, four are active-duty generals and another is retired military, again not counting Raúl.

Both in Cuba and abroad, the prominence of so many senior officers in civilian posts has prompted speculation about a military 'takeover' of the Cuban government. But to regard this circulation of elites as breaching some clear divide between civilian and military roles is to misunderstand the nature of civil-military relations in Cuba."

That's right.

Never mind that Castro's military exerts totalitarian control over Cuba -- both in political and economic terms.

Cuba is not a military dictatorship, claims LeoGrande.

Never mind that the bureaucratic proportions he cites stymie those of the military juntas that ruled throughout Latin America in the 60s, 70s and 80s -- which at least tried to (poorly) hide behind the civilian puppets they'd parade as figure-heads.

Cuba is not a military dictatorship, he insists.

Then again, LeoGrande also believes that "Raúl Castro became president of Cuba in his own right in 2008."

In some alternate universe perhaps.