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Cubans have had a dizzying week, and now they must feel like schoolchildren with an ever-increasing number of substitute teachers. The Cuban Communist Party assured Cubans that Fidel and Raul are just hunky dory even while refusing to discuss the health of the former or the location of the latter, and instead focused on a visit by Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega and a statement by Elian Gonzales:
Cuba's propaganda mill was in overdrive yesterday, with former Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega visiting Havana and Elian Gonzalez wishing a speedy recovery to "my dear grandpa Fidel."
Communist Party officials were passing the word that President Fidel Castro was out of intensive care and recovering nicely, though there was still no official statement on his condition, which has been called a state secret.
A week after Mr. Castro temporarily ceded power during emergency surgery to his younger brother, Raul Castro still had not appeared in public or made any formal statement.
Reassuring statements were plentiful, however, from figures such as Mr. Ortega, who told Cuban state media, "I am sure that we will soon have Fidel resuming his functions and leading his people."
And Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still valiantly struggling in his fight to remain dead. We've heard Suri Cruise sightings with more credibility than this. Did Raul Castro decide to take a safari vacation in Africa and just forgot to bring the satellite phone with him? When the Cubans promote a statement by a visitor as assurances that their leadership remains intact instead of producing the chosen successor, the Communists have reached desperation.
At first, I thought that Raul might put off a public appearance but instead make a short speech (which would be a refreshing change for the Cubans) to acknowledge the temporary transfer of power. In that way, he would limit speculation that he would take the opportunity to betray his brother and grab the brass ring for himself. That window disappeared a few days ago. This latest development shows that the Cuban government apparently can't produce either Castro brother.
It also begs the question: who exactly is running Cuba now? Daniel Ortega?
Until someone answers that question with more credibility than Ortega and Elian Gonzales, Cubans may decide that the Castro Era has ended and take matters into their own hands. That's why the Cuban military put themselves on full alert this week -- not because of the laughable notion that the US would invade, but because of the real possibility that their soldiers would join the people to overthrow the Communist government. That day may soon come anyway, unless someone can dig up Raul or Fidel -- and at this point, that may be a literal description of the problem.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Is Castro the fulfillment of prophesy/legend in this scenario? "Claret said the virgin told him the young man would rule for four decades, and Cuba would be devastated during this period. In time, the young man would grow old. He [Read More]
Tracked on August 8, 2006 8:45 AM
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