Plot against Raul Castro
Some long-time Cuba watchers expressed skepticism Tuesday over a report by a former Mexican foreign minister that Communist leader Raul Castro removed two top-ranking officials earlier this month because they were plotting to overthrow him with the support of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
For at least a month or so, Lage, Perez Roque and others were apparently involved in a conspiracy, betrayal, coup or whatever term one prefers, to overthrow or displace Raul from his position," Castaneda wrote. "In this endeavor, they recruited -- or were recruited by -- Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, who in turn tried to enlist the support of other Latin American leaders, starting with Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic, who refused to get involved.
Castaneda says Raul Castro was worried about what would happen after Fidel dies and was trying to avert a succession battle. Perez Roque, 43, might have been perceived as a threat.
"Nobody spaks of Fidel anymore," Perez said. "He's a non-presence. Out of sight, out of mind. The only time anyone speaks of him is when they are asked about him."
By Arthur Brice