Globe and Mail | Reuters
Cuban President Fidel Castro shattered a kneecap in a fall Wednesday, officials said yesterday.
A brief statement said Mr. Castro broke his left knee and suffered a hairline fracture in his right arm. In a letter to the Cuban people read on the evening news, Mr. Castro said his kneecap had broken into eight pieces and he had undergone a three-hour operation to rebuild it with titanium thread. His left leg was in plaster and his right arm in a sling, he said.
The Cuban leader was driven 280 kilometres to the capital in an ambulance and given local anesthetic for the middle-of-the-night operation in a medical facility at his government’s headquarters.
“This surely brings home to the Cuban governing elite exactly what will happen when he is no longer the glue holding things together,” said Julia Sweig, an expert on Cuba at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.