By Nelson P. Valdés
The transfer of political power away from Fidel Castro was planned years ago. Preparation for it went into effect when he fell ill, and by the end of July 2006 Fidel provisionally delegated power to his brother Raúl. What had been provisional became permanent on February 18, 2008. But this was no longer a personal delegation of power; rather, the decision would depend on what elected officials at the National Assembly decided.
Over the years, there has been much speculation, and many imaginary scenarios have been concocted, regarding the end of the charismatic leader's rule. But what these various alternative scripts did not consider was the possibility of several preludes to succession.