News and Facts about Cuba

What Does Alejandro Castro Espin Do?

What Does Alejandro Castro Espin Do? / Juan Juan Almeida
Posted on October 2, 2015

Juan Juan Almeida, 30 September 2015 — Alejandro Castro Espín’s
intrusion into Cuba’s political scene has led to a whirlwind of Homeric
fantasies in which his biography emerges as a genuine epic poem. This is
quite normal; it is how myths are created. But be careful. To either
demonize or idealize someone is to make the same mistake: It
mythologizes a figure who will later end up embarrassing us.

Alejandro is not, nor will he be, the person who succeeds his father.
There is a popular joke that goes like this: Eight out of ten Cubans
complain about the government; the two who do not are ’s
grandson-bodyguard, Raul Guillermo, and his son-advisor, Alejandro.

Popular wisdom. Vilma and Raul’s son was born on July 29, 1965. I do not
want to rehash the past — there has already been a ton written on the
subject — but it is worth recalling that he began his
at IPSJAE (José Antonio Echevarría Polytechnic University),
only to abandon his studies in refrigeration engineering barely two
years later to focus on a less demanding and more promising military
career. Perhaps this earned more gold seals for his resume than the
appellation on a bottle of cheap wine.

A lover of sports and bad habits such as digging into other people’s
lives, a man with a face like a vegetarian takeout sign, Alejandro is
credited with having earned engineering degrees, a doctorate in
political science and a masters in international relations as well as
being a writer and researcher on issues related to defense and national

No doubt he has many more but what is striking is that even the island’s
official press seems unsure of the positions and responsibilities held
by the youngest of the Castro Espíns’ offspring.

On April 11, 2015, during the Seventh Summit of the Americas held in
Panama, the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) stated,
“Cuba was represented by Chancillor Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla as well as
by Alejandro Castro Espín and Juan Francisco Arias Fernández, both from
the Defense and National Security Commission.”

He was mentioned again on the same MINREX website on September 29, 2015
— almost six months later — in reference to a meeting between
Barack Obama and the Cuban president. While the organization remained
the same, his position in it seems to have changed:

“Cuba was represented by the minister of foreign affairs, Bruno
Rodríguez Parrilla, and by Alejandro Castro Espín and Juan Francisco
Arias Fernández, advisor and deputy-advisor respectively of the Defense
and National Security Commission.”

Alejandro’s job is either beginning to take shape or, worse, becoming
distorted. The Council of National Defense, as stipulated by the
Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, “is made up of the President of
the Council of State, who presides; the Vice-President of the Council of
State; his Vice-President; as well as five members appointed by the
Council of State at the suggestion of its President.”

Alejandro is not among its members. He holds no designated post. His
job, for now, is simply to be an empty bottle. The answer to the puzzle
is easy enough: Raul Castro is to nepotism what Albert Einstein is to

Source: What Does Alejandro Castro Espin Do? / Juan Juan Almeida |
Translating Cuba –

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