Cuba Poised Between Past and Future: Part III

Cuba Poised Between Past and Future: Part III

Last of a three-part series. Part I can be found here. Part II can be found here. An accompanying photo feature is here.

SANTIAGO, Cuba -- While standing trial in the early 1950s for his initial, failed attempt to overthrow the Cuban government, Fidel Castro famously declared: "History will absolve me." Ever since, he has manipulated, rewritten and exploited history to advance his political ends.

Castro's use of history as a propaganda tool was underscored this week after two prominent, relatively young Cuban politicians were abruptly demoted. In a surprising shake-up, Vice President Carlos Lage and Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque were stripped of their Cabinet-level responsibilities and replaced by men with lower public profiles.

Raúl Castro, who succeeded his ailing older brother as Cuba's president last year, didn't elaborate on the decision.

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