Cuba's MININT: Castro Replaces 76-Year Old General, With 77-Year Old General

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
This is what "change" in Raul Castro's Cuba looks like.

Last night, Cuba's Minister of the Interior ("MININT"), 76-year old General Abelardo Colome Ibarra (known as "Furry") resigned for health reasons.

The MININT mainly runs the island's intelligence and domestic security services.

He was replaced by 77-year old General Carlos Fernandez Gondin.

Like Colome Ibarra, Gondin is a MINFAR General ("Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces").

This is part of Raul's on-going effort to centralize all power sectors in Cuba under the MINFAR.

Here's some history, which remains very pertinent today:

In 1989, then-Defense Minister (MINFAR) Raul Castro led an operation to purge the leadership of the MININT, along with its lucrative commercial enterprises (e.g. CIMEX).

It resulted in the execution of three senior officials -- including Cuba's most famous officer, General Arnaldo Ochoa -- and the arrest of the Minister of the Interior (who died of a "heart attack" in prison), Jose Abrantes.

They were "officially" charged with serious acts of corruption, dishonest use of economic resources and abetting drug trafficking.

But in reality -- the operation was designed to centralize all of the island's armed, intelligence and economic forces under Raul's MINFAR.

Since then, the MININT has been headed by MINFAR General Colome Ibarra, a close confidant of Castro.

It's Vice-Minister (now promoted), General Fernandez Gondin, who is also known as Castro's point-man in control of Venezuela's security services.

And its most symbolic figure, MINFAR Colonel Alejandro Castro, Raul's son.

That's why it's humorous when the Obama Administration and its "experts" sit-around speculating -- and obviating history -- about who are the Cuban regime's "hard-liners" and "reformers."

Raul has always been the regime's top "hard-liner."