The president of the Christian Liberation Movement, Oswaldo Paya, said this week that the changes in the cabinet of Raul Castro’s government in Cuba are cosmetic and not intended to make the country more democratic.
“These are high-level changes that may be important inasmuch as it affects the distribution of power among top officials, but they are not changes towards greater democracy,” Paya said during an interview with Chilean radio.
The political dissident explained that Cubans are not told what is happening in the government. “There can be a change in personnel, as there have been at other times, without what the people want to be done, which is openness, rights, reconciliation and freedom,” he said.
Recently, Raul Castro shuffled twelve cabinet positions, including requiring the retirement of vice president Carlos Lage and ex-foreign affairs minister Felipe Perez Roque, who have both been considered long-time supporters of Raul’s brother Fidel.
After the announcement, Fidel Castro accused them of “undignified” conduct. “The foreign enemy was very encouraged with them,” he said in an article published by the official state newspaper Granma. Both men subsequently wrote letters apologizing for their “errors.”