Excerpt by Cuban author and intellectual, Carlos Alberto Montaner, in Diario de Cuba:
Raul Castro fears that Venezuela's subsidies will dry out in the short-term. He sees it coming. The price of oil is falling and the chaos generated by the absolute inefficiency of "chavismo" has Venezuela about to close the spigot. The Cubans selected Maduro, but he has turned out to be an absolute disaster. It's a question of survival. Two drowning people can't mutually save themselves.
Thus, the offensive. Raul needs, desperately, to be saved from the burning ship. What exactly does he need? A deluge of American tourists to flood his hotels with their fresh dollars. Today, they can't travel to Cuba. The law prohibits it. He also wants credits to import U.S. products. They sell him food and medicine, but he has to pay cash-in-advance and lacks dollars.
Raul Castro is not willing to change the system, nor tolerate freedoms, but he thinks he can change Obama and eliminate the restrictions imposed or maintained by eleven U.S. Presidents.
His hypothesis is that he'll succeed in doing so after the November elections, in the last two years of the Obama Administration. To achieve this goal, he has his entire intelligence services diligently working, along with a few exiles who subscribe to the strange and illogical rationale that the way to end Castro's tyranny is by endowing it with resources.
The main obstacle -- Havana believes -- is Democrat Senator Bob Menendez, Chairman of the important Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Therefore, Cuba's intelligence services concocted an operation to try to destroy him by creating a smear campaign that he had relations with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. This was discovered to be a repugnant lie.
The tentacles of Castro's lobby are extensive. They reach Congress, the media, and the academic and cultural worlds. They infiltrated the Pentagon. The person who used to evaluate Havana's activities for The White House was senior intelligence analyst, Ana Belen Montes, a Cuban spy, captured in 2001 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Since 1985 she had been spying for the Castros.
Scott W. Carmichel, the U.S. counter-intelligence agent who discovered her, believes there are many more spies placed and seduced by Cuba in various sectors of the U.S. government and civil society. He's probably right. And they are all working tirelessly to obtain Raul Castro's current objective.
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