Havana Cuba Business Travel Culture and Politics

Havana Cuba News

Cuba Politics News

Posted December 17, 2006 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

Email this article | Print this article | Search Havana Journal        

BY ANITA SNOW | Associated Press

Fidel Castro telephoned a meeting of provincial legislative leaders, the Communist Party daily said Saturday in a report apparently aimed at quelling rumors about the ailing Cuban leader’s health.

Meanwhile, 10 visiting U.S. Congress members met with Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and other communist officials, two weeks after acting leader Raul Castro offered to hold a dialogue with American officials on equal terms.

The call by Castro to provincial leaders Friday and another to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez the same day constituted the first news in 11 days about the convalescing 80-year-old, who has not been seen in public in more than four months.

Even if Castro is not as sick as some believe—including many in the U.S. government—his prolonged absence from public life has raised questions about whether he will ever return to power.

Vice President Carlos Lage and National Assembly President Ricardo Alarc�n were presiding over the Friday meeting of provincial assembly presidents when Castro called, Granma newspaper reported. The full National Assembly will hold a regular session Dec. 22 to vote on the island’s budget and other matters.

Chavez said in Caracas on Friday that Castro, a close friend and political ally, called him the same day to congratulate him on his reelection victory earlier this month.

The last news about Castro was issued on Dec. 5 when Granma published a typed letter signed by Castro congratulating Chavez on his electoral win. He has not been seen in public since July 26, five days before he announced that he had undergone emergency intestinal surgery and was temporarily ceding his powers to his 75-year-old brother Ra�l.

The U.S. lawmakers had reportedly asked to meet with Raul Castro during their weekend visit to Cuba, but there was no word on whether such a meeting would take place.

Led by Reps. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and William Delahunt, D-Mass., the group arrived Friday afternoon and met that evening with Alarcon. On Saturday, the group was seen entering the Foreign Ministry for the meeting with Perez Roque.

Rep. Hilda Solis, D-Calif., told reporters: ``Everything is going well.’‘

The other U.S. representatives in the delegation are: Republicans Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri, Jerry Moran of Kansas and Michael Conaway of Texas, as well as Democrats Jane Harmon of California, Lincoln Davis of Tennessee, Gregory Meeks of New York, and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts.

Although the group reportedly had asked to meet with Raul Castro, the 75-year-old Defense Minister, there was no word on whether such a meeting would take place.

The chief of the U.S. Interest Section, Michael Parmly, was scheduled to hold a breakfast meeting with the lawmakers this morning.

The delegation scheduled a news conference today before returning to the United States.

In recent years, the United States has intensified its trade embargo against Cuba, as well as other policies aimed at squeezing the island’s economy and undermining its communist leaders.

Bush administration officials have twice rejected offers to talk with Cuban leaders since Fidel Castro fell ill, saying the country must first hold free and competitive elections and release all political prisoners.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on December 17, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Hopefully Parmly won’t try and screw up this trip.

    I don’t see why any of the Congressmen would have to meet with him.

    Cuba consulting services

Would you like to add more information?

Only members can add more information. Please register or log in

  • Advertise at Havana Journal Inc
We recommend this AirBnB Food and Drink Experience... Cuban flavors: Food, Rum and Cigars
Images of Cuba
Fidel Castro on MAD magazine cover October 1963
Follow Havana Journal
SUBSCRIBE to our Cuba Watch newsletter
LIKE us on Facebook

FOLLOW us on Twitter

CONNECT with us on Linked In

Section Archive
Havana Journal, Inc. BBB Business Review

Member of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy