The New York Times, the Associated Press, and Fox News reported something curious yesterday out of Cuba. The media outlets told of Cuban doctors who were instructed by the Venezuelan government last year not to treat Venezuelan patients unless the patients promised to vote for socialist tyrant Nicolás Maduro and his party. Not the best PR for Caracas.
Now, not so strange that Maduro is doing this. Standard play for a faltering socialist dictatorship. What is odd is that the Cubans said it. Which means the government in Havana allowed them to say it.
While Havana maintains the company line, the docs seem free to comment outside of the confines of a prison camp. And to tell the Times and AP, no less. One physician even defected to Ecuador and the regime still looked the other way at the story.
Cuba is undergoing a generational change in leadership. Not that the Communist Party will give up control at all. But she can do the math, see that fifty nations have recognized Juan Guaidó, and know full well (probably with very inside information) how completely unsavable Maduro is. By the way, some of those nations that have recognized Guaidó? Their citizens are big-time Cuban tourism customers.
So you will see Cuba start to hedge her bets. A missed delivery of material here, silence on an issue there. If push comes to shove in a military showdown and Maduro falls, expect a Cuban advisor evacuation and a sham outraged hyperbolic communiqué from Havana. There will be way more sincere regret and outrage from Maduro’s more loyal fan base in the U.S. Democratic Party.
This isn’t much of a surprise, though. What was the Count Ciano line? Oh yeah, “Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.”
My guess is that Maduro is gradually being orphaned by Cuba and his few dwindling other international pals are not far off to follow. Nobody wants to be last off a sinking ship.