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August 5, 2006
Where's Raul-Do, Redux

More information and less confirmation keep coming out of Cuba. The government in Havana keeps insisting that the Castro brothers still control the island, and the Castro brothers keep failing to appear:

With Fidel Castro still nowhere to be seen, military reservists, retired officers and decommissioned soldiers are under orders to check in daily at military posts.

Burly men who appear to be plainclothes security agents are stationed along a stretch of waterfront that saw rare anti-government riots in 1994. There are more police and army reservists throughout the capital, and dissidents said the military was telling citizens in eastern provinces that they could use force against those criticizing the government.

Repelling an invasion from the United States has been a constant theme in state media since Castro announced Tuesday that he undergoing intestinal surgery and temporarily handing power to his brother Raul. ...

Cubans said that their friends and relatives who are decommissioned or retired military officers are being ordered to report their whereabouts daily and be reachable at all times.

Despite having power for the last five days, Dear Placeholder has yet to appear publicly on his brother's behalf. Fidel himself has supposedly issued terse statements saying that he feels great but that his health is a state secret. Now the Cuban military has ordered its reservists to stay in touch in case of a Yanqui invasion, but everyone knows that's poppycock.

The military needs to keep track of their reservists to make sure that they haven't begun a counter-revolution. And since an appearance by Raul would effectively quell any such thoughts, one has to assume that both Fidel and Raul have disappeared for a reason. The reason, according to Brazilian sources, is terminal stomach cancer for Fidel, as Oak Leaf at Polipundit reports:

“Cuban authorities” informed Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his party’s leaders that Castro’s health is worse than publicly acknowledged. The newspaper reported Castro, 79, apparently has abdominal cancer, and that the unidentified Cuban authorities said he would be too incapacitated to reassume power.”

Well, maybe. One problem in dictatorships is that they tend to grow strange theories and rumors in the darkness, and this situation is about as opaque as it gets. Stomach cancer would explain Fidel's disappearance, but not Raul's. Something other than a medical problem has occurred in Cuba, but no one's talking -- except to order the Cuban military to march in circles where they can be watched.

Strange days -- and dangerous days -- in Cuba. The explosion may come soon.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 5, 2006 9:23 PM

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