Apparently the Washington Post isn't the only newspaper to be taken aback by aging Communists holding a tight grip on the Communist regime in Havana. "Old guard in Cuba keeps reins," blares the February 25 headline in the Los Angeles Times.Oddly enough, the "old guard" is still labeled "revolutionary" twice in the story by Miguel Bustillo and Carol J. Williams:
MIAMI -- Cuba's parliament signaled Sunday that the status quo of a stunted state-run economy and strained relations with the United States will persist for now as it named Raul Castro to replace his ailing brother, Fidel, as president and chose another aging revolutionary as the nation's No. 2 leader.[...]Machado, a physician who fought with Castro's guerrillas and treated their wounded, has served in the Communist Party hierarchy for decades and is known to be a close ally of Raul Castro. He was responsible in recent years for infusing revolutionary principles into the education system.
Bustillo and Williams persistently soft-pedaled and legitimized the one-party totalitarian government in their article, matter-of-factly chalking up the trappings of totalitarianism to "tradition" and treating Cuban frustration with dictatorship as a mere matter of opinion (emphases mine):
Breaking with tradition, Raul Castro showed up for the parliamentary convocation at Havana's Palace of Conventions wearing a gray suit and tie instead of his usual olive-drab general's uniform.[...]In this 50th year of the Castro regime, many Cubans have lost interest in a political system they believe excludes them.