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Posted April 25, 2007 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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AFP

A top Cuban official has moved to quash speculation that convalescing Cuban leader Fidel Castro might appear at a May Day parade, though he said Castro was “very well.”

A fitter, less gaunt Castro, 80, was seen in official photos earlier this week after he met with a top Chinese official, in a sign he unofficially is back at work on more of his customary official duties.

That fueled speculation among many Cubans that Castro, who underwent major intestinal surgery in July, might be on hand at the May day parade in Havana’s Revolution Square.

National Assembly speaker Ricardo Alarcon, one of the communist regime’s top figures, said he thought Fidel Castro should take a pass and opt for a television appearance instead. Fidel Castro has not appeared in public since his operation nine months ago.

“It’s one thing to be well, but to be there for two hours watching a parade ...I would prefer to see him on TV. He looks better on television,” Alarcon said when asked late Tuesday if Fidel Castro might show for May Day events May 1.

Alarcon said Fidel Castro is “very well” and speaks by phone with colleagues several times a day.

“He is informed about the main issues, following them very closely, and carefully ... This is not a man whose life is over,” Alarcon stressed.

Saturday, the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma ran two still photos of a fitter-looking Castro—his first official media picture since January 30. A third photo of Fidel Castro with his guest was run in the Juventude Rebelde newspaper.

In the new images, Castro appears in a brown and red track suit, both sitting and standing, and appeared to have gained back some of the weight he lost during his illness.

The official who met Castro, Wu Guanzheng, is a member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China. He reportedly brought a card for the Cuban leader from President Hu Jintao.

After almost five decades at the helm of the only communist country in the Americas, Fidel Castro underwent intestinal surgery last July and temporarily handed power to Raul Castro, the defense chief, July 31.

Cuban officials and ally Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez have given updates on Castro’s health in recent months, hinting he is set for a comeback, and defying predictions by his arch-nemesis, the United States, that his death was near.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on April 25, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    The wording in this line in telling

    “He is informed about the main issues”

    in other words “We are telling him what we are doing. He is not telling us what to do.”

    So, doesn’t look good for Fidel to attend the May Day parade. Whether he is live in person or just on TV, there are several things to observe:

    What is he wearing? Track suit, suit or fatigues?

    How long is his actual appearance? A short tv appearance would mean that his physical and or mental health is not very good.

    What is the subject matter, national or international? Will be telling as to what is he is/has been working on.

    Is he sitting or standing?

    Where is he? A known location or unknown location?

    If there is NO APPEARANCE even on television one would have to assume that he is just too sick physically to sit or speak for any length of time or that he is mentally too sick to speak for any length of time.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say NO APPEARANCE.

    If he can only meet with the Chinese official for one hour and in a track suit, I doubt he is up for a ceremonial parade appearance even though it is a big parade and people are waiting to see if he makes any appearance.

    Last year Fidel died politically. If he does not make an appearance this coming Tuesday, I would say that he’ll be dead physically in 2007. Nine months recuperation is just WAY too long.



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