Rats fleeing Cuba's sinking ship? Resignations and calls for ending communist dictatorship are coming fast

So are the rats fleeing the ship in Cuba?

It's always a bad sign when the elites start resigning during times of crisis, as if to get out early to save their skins. There's more than one now as Cuba erupts into protests and calls to end the communist dictatorship, so it's getting to be a pattern.

So here we got one report of a resignation of one of the regime's thuggier members, Cuba’s Deputy Minister of the Interior, Brigadier General Jesús Manuel Burón Tabit, according to top Cuba expert Carlos Eire, writing at the indispensible Babalu blog.

Eire has a loose translation of the news from ABC Spain:

Cuba’s Deputy Minister of the Interior, Brigadier General Jesús Manuel Burón Tabit, has resigned after questioning decision-making within the ministry and the Security Council, as well as the excessive use of police force to repress the demonstrations of 11 July, the day that began the wave of protests that spread throughout the island, as ABC has learned from sources close to the regime.

 That's one of guys in charge of torture and internal spying. Based on his official photo, he looks like the kind of guy you wouldn't want to meet while chained in some Castroite dungeon:

But he's the guy who, after a career as a top Cuban internal security official, reportedly felt the government was going too hard on the protestors.

According to ABC of Spain (Google translate has some faultiness here, but you can get the gist):

His departure is motivated by disagreements with other commanders, differences with respect to the measures taken during the protests last weekend. "There is trouble within the Army and differences between the military of the old guard and young generals," say the sources consulted by this newspaper.
 
The news would also have been confirmed by the analyst and writer Juan Juan Almeida in his program Juan Juan Al medio. According to Almeida, the also member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba, requested his resignation in the lobby of building A of the Ministry of the Interior. His words when he left office were: "Applying the law with strict adherence to it does not mean murder," said Juan Juan.
Maybe it's true, as the information about this blotting-paper-face apparachik is sparse.
 
It's also interesting that the Cuban government has denied the report, calling it "fake news." Perhaps that is true, too, given this guy's record. Or perhaps they forced him to "un-resign."
 
But after searching who this Castroite apparachik was over the years, it's likely he wasn't all that happy with the current Castroite government, so maybe he did want to quit, although there are reasons to think he didn't, as well. 
 
Based on his career, before the uprising, he was doing things like this, as described by Juventud Rebelde, a Cuban state organ:
 
 
The Comandante Arides Estévez Sánchez Superior Military School held this Friday morning the graduation ceremony of the 62nd Anniversary class of the Assault on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Barracks.
 
As part of it, more than 150 cadets were promoted to the first grade of officers in the legal profile, who knelt on the ground vowed to be worthy heirs of the glorious combative traditions of our people, the working class, the Party, and to follow the example of heroism, self-denial and sacrifice of the forgers of our true and definitive independence.
 
"The future performance of each of the graduates should be presided over by intelligence, simplicity, modesty, fidelity to revolutionary principles, firmness and a high fighting spirit," said the president of the Ministerial Examinations Commission, Brigadier General Jesús Manuel Burón Tabit.
Kind of boring, actually.
 
Meanwhile, among the Castroite elites, there was a "re-election" of government last April, which was how the Cubans ended up with the zero-charisma Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez as their nominal dictator. This party session only comes along every five years, and Buron Tabit got ... the same job he had for awhile, that of Central Committee member, which is the rubber-stamp body of the Politiburo, the small 14- or 17-person group (I've seen conflicting reports) which holds the real power. He got passed over.
 
There's also reason to think he was kind of an ambitious guy, given that he was given this kind of plum assignment, which was hosting Raul Castro's 90th birthday, obviously a task only the most trusted of comrades would garner.
 
According to CubaDebate.cu, a Castroite organ for leftists around the world:
 
On the occasion of the celebration of the 90th birthday of Army General Raúl Castro Ruz on June 3, the special Verde Olivo magazine was presented, dedicated to who, for more than 49 years, served as Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR).
 
The tribute, held in the Universal Room of the FAR, was presided over by Army Corps General Ramón Espinosa Martín, First Vice Minister of the FAR, and Brigadier General Jesús Manuel Burón Tabit, Vice Minister of the Interior; In addition, other heads of the FAR and the Ministry of the Interior participated, as well as a group of authors of the publication and workers of the publishing house.
Could he have been discontented about being shunted aside and given only the crummy Central Committee position instead of a more powerful Politiburo one? Quite possible.
 
Even more insultingly than that, he didn't even get named by Cuba's state academics as being on that Central Committee list.
 
Here's one account by a Castroite professor from the Universidad de Las Tunas, a Cuban state "educational" establishment, whose list of ruling comrades left Buron Tabit off:
 
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba elected Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez as its First Secretary. Right at 10 in the morning, at the Havana Convention Center, the last day of the party meeting began in which the new Central Committee, the Political Bureau and the Secretariat of the party organization were announced.
[Long list of communist operatives follows, doesn't include Buron Tabit]
 
 
El Pais of Costa Rica, whose political orientation I don't know, reported in April that Buron Tabit was a member of the 96-man Central Committee, and didn't leave him off.
 
So why he was left off on the academic report, which is supposedly more rigorous, is sort of a red flag. Was he being "erased" from the picture, in the old Stalinist tradition?
 
But in the meantime, he found himself stuck in the same old Central Committee role. What exactly is the Cuban Communist Party's ruling Central Committee?
 
According to CubaNet.org, apparently a U.S. funded publication for independent journalists in Cuba:
 
HAVANA, Cuba.- Compiling data is a difficult task and requires patience, but if the information of the Cuban dictatorial regime is involved, it becomes even more difficult because there is no clarity in the searches. It should only be remembered that every time someone is dismissed the Press Release says: "he will take on other responsibilities", or something similar.
 
As a continuation, it can be said then that the grassroots Popular Power is represented in the Central Committee by only two people, the governor of Santiago de Cuba and the vice governor of Havana.
 
However, the generals occupy at least 10% of the Central Committee. 11 could be related, of them 4 with Brigade level; 6 of the Division and one of the Army Corps. 10 of them belong to the Revolutionary Armed Forces, and 4 to the Ministry of the Interior. In any case, it is the highest representation among all the ministries that the country has.
[Lists of these characters from all the ministries and other bodies follows]
 
The only thing that these "members of the Central Committee" get is perks in their respective work centers and provinces, because between two Congresses, the Plenary of the organization almost does not work and anyway there you have to go to raise your hand and show agreement with everything.
So it's mainly a perk machine which enables party elites to travel abroad and shop at special shops with dollar earnings and shields them from any scrutiny about their corruption. It's not a real position of power, it's just the goody bag.
 
Would this guy want to give up all his party perks for a life of dissidence and suspicion from the others who are still lining their pockets out of some kind of sudden conscience issue, after the kind of career he had?
 
It's hard to think the answer was 'yes.'
 
What looks likely and possible though, is that maybe he was shunted aside by the ruling communist elites, which would be about par, given that he was in charge of keeping internal revolts down and the cameras off, and well, he failed rather bigly.
 
Perhaps the party pushed him out, and said he resigned, given the potential for a chain reaction among other party offiicals desperate to avoid a Ceaucescu fate, and changed its mind.
 
But even if that entire report was false, as the Cuban dictatorship now says, all of a sudden this morning, another came out of the woodwork and denounced the regime. This one hasn't made the mainstream news yet.
 
Carlos Eire has another report at Babalu:
 

The nephew of Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas,, Raul Castro’s son-in-law and the man who actually runs Cuba behind the scenes, has left the island is calling for drastic change in Cuba. Carlos Alejandro Rodríguez Halley released a video yesterday where he calls on his family to stop the repression and to heed the voices of millions of Cubans and step down from power so a transition to democracy can begin.

Via CiberCuba ([Carlos Eire's] translation):

Carlos Alejandro Rodriguez Halley, the nephew of Division General and Cuban Communist Party Politburo member Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja, called on his family and others in power to drop their weapons and start a transition to democracy.

“I make a call for harmony and for the putting down of weapons so a process to start a transition to democracy in Cuba can begin. The people have made clear they no longer want you in power. Listen to the people,” Rodriguez Halley said on Wednesday in a video he posted on Facebook.

[…]

“Don’t be responsible for the shedding of more blood,” Rodriguez Halley pleaded with his family. “Cuba has made it clear on the streets and throughout the entire country that they are not in agreement with your government, that it is a failed government that has led the nation into a health, economic, social, and political crisis,” said the young dissident.

“My family is part of the families that are in power in Cuba. My uncle is Division General Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja. My cousin is Raul Guillermo Rodriguez Castro, Raul Castro Ruz’s grandson. And it is to them that I say these words and to the rest of my family and all the military in Cuba,” the young man said in the video with obvious distress in his voice.

 
The young scion of the elites is not in Cuba as he says this but that is a helluva embarrassment for the ruling thug whose nephew that is. That's bound to lead to further defections and comings out, as younger kids aligned with the jurassic dictatorship seek to separate themselves from the jurassics and join the normal Cubans marching in the streets.
 
Combined with the Buron Tabit stuff, that's already a lot of 'churn' is going on at a bad time for the Cuba dictatorship. From these little events, it's entirely likely that they may be a prelude to a big toppling of the regime -- we saw such peel-offs in the Soviet Union when it fell, although, to be fair, we also saw similar events in Venezuela at various times and the regime just keep clinging to power. The only thing to be done right now is to keep watching for more of them, to see if they keep happening. If they drop off, the dictatorship is consolidating. If they only lead to bigger things, the bad guys are going down. Let's hope it's the latter.
 
Image: Official photo