“Another One Bites the Dust” is a 1980 musical hit that was popularized by the legendary British rock band Queen. By “biting the dust”, one could guess what was meant. On Saturday, September 25, another high-ranking military official from the communist Cuban military forces died. Colonel Eladio Julian Fernandez Civico passed away, according to both the Revolutionary Armed Forces Ministry (MINFAR) and state press. This constitutes the thirteenth death of key members of the armed regime-sustaining institutions since the Cuban Uprising that started on the 11th of July. More than two months later, the Cuban military pandemic continues.
COVID has hit Cuba hard. But this Chinese-exported malady has been taking its toll on the Island since early 2020. On Sunday, September 26, the Castro regime’s Public Health Ministry reported 6,673 new COVID cases. This would bring the total to 854,167 infected cases of which 7,227 have resulted in deaths, according to the not-so-reliable official numbers from the regime.
Ordinary Cubans live in a constant state of existential crisis. The search for basic elements of living, a symptomatic condition attributable to over six decades of socialism, produces mass shortages of food and elementary staple products. The ability to potentially acquire scarce items requires hours of standing in long unruly lines outside depleted state stores. Surviving in Cuba for most Cubans, in other words, is a COVID breeding ground. The thirteen dead military officials, however, are not ordinary citizens. They belong to an encapsulated elite group: the MINFAR and the Ministry of Interior (MININT). Members enjoy special rules and unimaginable amenities. For these enablers of Marxist-Leninist tyranny, the exposure to COVID conditions is greatly lessened.
The constant deaths within the relevant ranks of Cuban communism’s military, political police, and intelligence forces raise great suspicion. The timing of these individuals’ deaths who have loyally served communist despotism deepens the belief that the Castro regime’s counterintelligence apparatus may have seen ghosts of a palace revolution, real or imagined. Milovan Djilas’ distinguishing point which differentiated communist totalitarian regimes from non-communist authoritarian ones, was the view they respectively held of the opposition. The Yugoslav ex-communist and writer of the formidable book The New Class: An Analysis of the Communist System (1957) stated that communist dictatorships consider potential enemies as full enemies.
Fernandez Civico was director of GeoCuba, S.A., one of the more than fifty military-run enterprises of the state-owned holding company, Grupo de Administración Empresarial, S.A. (GAESA). Castro-Communism began the military/business class scheme in the 1980s with its “Business Improvement” (PE) (“Perfeccionamiento Empresarial”) program. The regime sought to foment productivity into the Cuban economy by having the armed forces manage its economic affairs and the state-owned enterprises (SOE). The PE project was a way to co-opt further the military into the dictatorial system. Some believe that this has been a strategic move to avert coup d’états. Interestingly, communist China also handed to its military the first major group of SOE’s that experimented with the “socialism with Chinese characteristics” (China model) in 1978.
As head of GeoCuba, Fernandez Civico oversaw the Castro regime’s cartography, geographic information systems, geological engineering services, marine surveys, topographic mapping, graphic arts, and environmental studies fields. The relevant relationship with GAESA was GeoCuba’s service in the business of engaging in land concessions and leasing to foreign entities which are aligned with the tourist sector, as well as the areas of mining, agriculture, and real estate. As a co-founder of the Cuban Communist and Party and recipient of the socialist government’s “Work Hero” award, Fernandez Civico was a figure with a lot of authority. As a prominent member of Castroism’s exclusive military/entrepreneur class, he was in the highest social echelon, except for immediate Castro family members.
Yes, COVID can strike anyone. Additionally, people will all eventually die. Yet, within the last month alone, it is most odd that five senior military officers have died from the Wuhan virus, specifically. Eight others have died from other causes, so the communist dictatorship has reported. Not one autopsy has been performed. News of these deaths has all come after the fact. Since there is no freedom of the press in Cuba, media questions or investigative journalism pursuits can be disregarded.
There are two known common denominators with the enigmatic passing of these thirteen puissant individuals within the Cuban communist power structure. One is that each of the deceased upper-level military officers had the ability to command or facilitate with others, the movement of armed troops. The other factor is that all this occurred after the July 11th massive demonstrations and the subsequent repressive crackdown. Fernandez Civico will most likely not be the last important military officer to die.
The much-awarded Queen hit song, was not original in referring to the notion of “bite the dust”. Psalm 72:9 of the Old Testament in King James Bible Version (1611) reads: “Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him, and His enemies will lick the dust” [italics added]. The understanding of “lick” and “bite” is similar in both contexts. The Biblical reference is clear that God’s enemies would be defeated. The obvious proximity of Castro-Communism with evil leaves no doubt as to who those fighting for Cuban freedom stand with.