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Posted May 14, 2007 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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Fidel Castro is a no show for latest high ranking Chinese officials.

This article More Chinese officials in Cuba for trade talks says Marifeli Perez-Stable, a Cuba expert at the Washington-based think-tank believes the recent Chinese diplomatic activity in Cuba could signal an eventual shift toward a more open economy under acting president Raul Castro.

This is an interesting comment and it made me wonder if they met with Fidel.

I believe the Chinese officials arrived in Cuba on May 8. I have searched to find any news article stating that they had left Cuba and continued on to their destinations in Argentina and Chile or just went home to China.

So, either

a. they left Cuba and there is no news about them arriving in Argentina

b. they left Cuba and just went home to China because the planned trips to other countries were just a distraction so it didn’t look like they just went to Cuba and back home again.

c. they are still in Cuba

Why do I bring all this up?

Whether they left Cuba and went to Argentina or back to China, what is missing from any news article about these Chinese officials in Cuba?

NO MEETING WITH FIDEL CASTRO.

I’ll say it again. No meeting with Fidel Castro. To me this is just another sign that Fidel is fading away from public life even more and thus is closer to death perhaps at any time in the recent past.

Now, going on the assumption that the Chinese officials did not meet with Fidel, there are three reasons why Fidel didn’t meet with them…

1. He is physically incapacitated.

2. He is mentally incapacitated.

3. Raul is keeping Fidel quiet and/or hidden away.

4. Some of more than one of the above.

I guess I will go out on a limb here and make a prediction…

The next time Fidel Castro will be seen in public will be at his funeral and that will happen in 2007.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on May 16, 2007 by Ed

    Mmmm…all very interesting, as with Cuban affairs it’s all hypothesis. Would you prepared to stake your mortgage on Fidel’s funeral in 2007?

    This man is like a cat, in fact he’s like three cats rolled into one. Regarding transition post Fidel, I would like, hope and again, guess, that it will be gradual. Of course there will at times be some uncertainty, but what’s new?...The Cuban people deserve the best whatever happens, they are resourceful enough to carve out what I hope will be a unique and special socialist democracy. Long Live Cuba


  2. Follow up post #2 added on May 16, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    He does have many lives and I will be watching May 20 to see if he even writes a letter.

    Perez Roque says Fidel is doing better so we’ll see on May 20. If he is a no show on May 20, he will never appear in public again.

    He may disrupt things if he comes back and then is too sick to stay. That would cause too many problems.



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  3. Follow up post #3 added on May 16, 2007 by bevmayward

    Have just come home after a holiday in Cuba and a Cuban taxi driver said Fidel did meet with the Chinese officials?  Also there was an article in the local Cuban paper from Fidel? to the workers dated 30th April,


  4. Follow up post #4 added on May 17, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Fidel did meet with Wu Guanzheng in late April but not this latest delegation of Chinese officials.

    Yes, Fidel wrote a letter to Granma just before the May 1 celebration.

    So, nothing new.



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  5. Follow up post #5 added on May 24, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Don’t miss this other post featuring text from absent Fidel Castro writing about the current state of his health and absence.



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  6. Follow up post #6 added on May 25, 2007 by Anatasio Blanco

    One would hope Fidel is long-dead although . . . he’s died many times before, raising the hopes of those on-and-off the island. I’ll believe it when I see it. Still, interesting theory.


  7. Follow up post #7 added on May 30, 2007 by Wajiro with 34 total posts

    Well he is still missing huh ?



    “My Friends are those who think alike”

  8. Follow up post #8 added on May 30, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    He is still “missing”. Keep checking the main page of the Havana Journal. We are watching his situation closely. He is simply writing letters about international concerns with little to no focus on Cuba.

    These are Fidel’s last days.



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  9. Follow up post #9 added on May 30, 2007 by Wajiro with 34 total posts

    The signatures that appeared in his letters to Chavez of Venezuela and others are reproduction signatures.
    Delfin Fernandez who defected from Cuban Intelligence a few years ago, made it public, and he was the one that purchased the signature Machine for Fidel in Germany, actually he purchased 5.

    Most Cubans who have followed Castro very well know, that the way the letters are written and the type of Spanish language used is not from the real Fidel.
    Delfin Fernandez as well as Alina fernandez Revuelta, Castro’s daughter in the USA, confirmed that Castro’s secretary many times signed documents as if were Castro, under his authorization of course.
    I say he is very much on his way to hades.



    “My Friends are those who think alike”

  10. Follow up post #10 added on May 30, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Someone else commented here that the style is not Fidel’s and I agree that the content is certainly bizarre.

    The “relections” letters that he has been writing lately are a bit contrived. They feel made up, like propaganda but without the rambling and intensity of Fidel.

    They seem to be written by someone who thinks they think like Fidel.

    I just posted this article from Brian Latell about Fidel’s recent writings.



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  11. Follow up post #11 added on May 30, 2007 by Wajiro with 34 total posts

    I agree with teh Publisher.

    It might not be so much his physical State ,but his mental state, which many times even on the television show Mesa Redonda, things would slip from his mind, he also almost fainted at a national rally right in front of millions and TV cameras, his condition was not an overnight thing, but a degrading one.

    If he is not dead yet physically he certainly is politically dead, today’s report on Condoleza Rice telling off the Spaniards seems to be a new free for all with the future of Cuba.

    We Cubans like to say, the vultures are sitting on the fence waiting for the feast.

    Spain And Canada have made multi Million dollar investments, which in my mind are very high risk, as Cubans in a democratic elected new government in Cuba, will probably see them as intrusive and even as robbing the wealth of Cuba, there might be a second round of Confiscations of properties.



    “My Friends are those who think alike”

  12. Follow up post #12 added on June 09, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Although Fidel Castro had an “interview” with Mesa Redonda, he looked pretty sick to me.

    He may be healthier so I will eat some of my words from the original post but I stand by my comment

    “The next time Fidel Castro will be seen in public will be at his funeral and that will happen in 2007.”



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  13. Follow up post #13 added on June 09, 2007 by Wajiro with 34 total posts

    The fact he is still in the hospital is very suspicious to me.



    “My Friends are those who think alike”

  14. Follow up post #14 added on June 09, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    He’s playing his new role of old wise man now playing on people’s sympathies. Also, this way there is no pressure on Raul to do anything.

    Just stay the course. Same shit different day. Just another day in Cuba.

    Nothing can or will happen until Fidel is dead and we might not even know for weeks that he has died.



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  15. Follow up post #15 added on June 09, 2007 by Wajiro with 34 total posts

    I see changes, but in the people’s attitude, they are tired of the BS.



    “My Friends are those who think alike”

  16. Follow up post #16 added on June 18, 2007 by hans rademaker

    Just wishfull thinking, publisher. Today I red this articles for the first time and they make me laugh like the US report that Fidel was already dead or would die within weeks.


  17. Follow up post #17 added on June 18, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Yes. Apparently he is physically healthier but I still hold to my prediction that the next time Fidel Castro appears in public with be at his funeral.

    I don’t think he can ever go out in public again because of security reasons. One of Raul’s people may try to assassinate him.

    I would imagine that Fidel is the most paranoid that he has ever been in his entire life and will live out the rest of his life just like Howard Hughes.



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  18. Follow up post #18 added on June 18, 2007 by Wajiro with 34 total posts

    I agree , he will no live very long.



    “My Friends are those who think alike”

  19. Follow up post #19 added on June 19, 2007 by vlasta burian with 2 total posts

    This is a democracy? American way only. Publisher: you should add to the top:

    Havana journal for those who hate Fidel Castro…

    You would not have to remove any different opinions….like Dons or mine.. Too much work.. however, I believe you get paid for it good money.

    Thanks for experience !! Bye, dictator.


  20. Follow up post #20 added on June 19, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Vlasta,

    Funny that you say I hate Fidel. Others say I love Fidel. I look for balance as you know from my responses to your comments.

    I deleted your other off topic comment but I will leave this one but will warn you know for the second time… STAY ON TOPIC and post rational arguments.

    Your propaganda will be deleted and you will be banned after many repeated warnings, just like I banned you before… DON!



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  21. Follow up post #21 added on June 19, 2007 by abh

    Just to re-add my two cents and get this back “on topic”:
    I disagree with the premise that Fidel will not be seen alive again.  I have been tirelessly studying the news since his sickness was announced, and I have not seen any evidence that he’s been getting worse; to the contrary, all signs point to his improving health.  I think that all of his recent rambling essays sound EXACTLY like him and are not forgeries, and I don’t think the photos are fakes.  In fact, every time I hear someone say that his end is near, I can almost see him smiling and gathering enough energy to get through another day.  The mistake of “counting him out” has been made so many times—the first rumor of his death was in like 1955 or something—and he clearly delights in extending the agony of his enemies.  I really do believe that if you show me someone who thinks he’s very near to death, I will show you a Fidel-hater who is listening more to his heart than his head.


  22. Follow up post #22 added on June 19, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Well said and I completely agree. He is getting better but I do not see him returning to public life AT ALL.

    He may be on tv or on video or even call into a talk show but I still do not see any reason to change my mind that he will never be seen in public again.

    He is to frail physically and mentally.

    By writing his letters he retains his hero icon status and at this point in his career he probably thinks he is doing good in the world.

    He seems to be comfortable in his new role of old sage. Why would he spoil that by showing up as a frail old man in public?



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  23. Follow up post #23 added on June 19, 2007 by Wajiro with 34 total posts

    Fact is today as in Cuba the people are Burying Vilma Espin, Raul Castro’s wife and the 4Th person in line as part of The Cuban Government, Fidel is no where to be seen or heard.
    Vilma as well as Celia Sanchez were the two women who were side by side in the mountains of the Sierra Maestra with the Castros, and for Fidel to miss her burial and has made no statement is very strange.

    Also Today Evo Moralez of Bolivia who saw Castro 2 weeks ago said Castro had as many as 10 surgeries and had being on the Virge of death, but was now recuperating and writing about environmental things.

    I agree with The Publisher, Fidel is not all That Well and his demise is soon to be seen.
    The Clock is against them.



    “My Friends are those who think alike”

  24. Follow up post #24 added on June 19, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    I think Fidel has given up on all local issues and his lack of appearance and statement speaks loudly about the quality of his mental and/or physical health.

    I hope that Cubans see Fidel’s absence as a lack of respect.

    Perhaps Vilma’s death will be the next step down for Fidel?



    Cuba consulting services

  25. Follow up post #25 added on July 08, 2007 by manfredz with 464 total posts

    1.  One that that got me wondering was that even when the pope was dying they still propped him up at the window to wave at the crowds.  No such thing with Fidel - dont know if i can read anything into it.
    2.  Until Fidel is “really” dead, I dont think we’ll see any major shifts in govt thinking - think any reformers would still fear retribution from him even if he isnt actively involved now.
    3. Dont think anybody can predict with any accuracy what will happen then.  West Germany had all kinds of experts who knew everything about East Germany, yet were completely caught unawares of how fast things went.


  26. Follow up post #26 added on July 08, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Great post.

    Let’s see what happens on July 31, the first anniversary of absent President Fidel Castro’s “secret” illness.

    Will he retire? Will he make a comeback?



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  27. Follow up post #27 added on July 08, 2007 by manfredz with 464 total posts

    or will he die peacefully in his sleep the night before and sometime down the road discover he actually died well before then ... the door is wide open.  But yes July 31 is definitely another key date to watch.  Personally, i expect it will pass without cuban government mention - but thats my opinion only.


  28. Follow up post #28 added on July 08, 2007 by edward with 65 total posts

    Hold on a minute, if the guy is as seriously ill as your implying then it’s no wonder he’s absent. I don’t believe he lacks respect for his people.


  29. Follow up post #29 added on July 08, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Edward,

    I think Castro’s health has improved since I posted this original article. Now he needs to face the reality of his permanent incapacitation and show his people some respect by relinquishing power to Raul so Raul can (possibly) move the country forward.

    In another thread in the forum you say that Castro pointed nuclear missiles at the US for self defense and now you don’t think he shows a blatant disrespect for his people?

    (Is this Don, again?)



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  30. Follow up post #30 added on July 08, 2007 by edward with 65 total posts

    Hi Publisher

    There are signs that the Cuban administration is already engaged in making fine adjustments to the hard line socialist road favoured by Castro. In my view they are overdue, it also my view this is happening as a result of Castro taking a back seat.

    As I mentioned earlier I think transition is already under way, it’s not so important as to who’s driving the vehicle. What is important is that the Cuban people see some light and are given resources to build a future for themselves.

    I don’t think there will be a collapse or chaos, and I don’t think things will change overnight as this could well lead to chaos. I do think there will be a careful evolution designed to drive the people of Cuba and the country onto a more competitive road.

    By the way, who’s Don?


  31. Follow up post #31 added on July 08, 2007 by manfredz with 464 total posts

    This is probably a bad example in the overall picture, but for a country thats got a pretty stagnant governement, I was surprised by teh number of changes in cuban customs regulations that came into effect Jun 1st thi year (see http://www.auduana.co.cu).  some examples are:
    before you could only bring out 23 bootleg cigars.  They upped it to 50.
    DVD and VCR players a well as DVDs and VHS tapes are now allowed
    You used to be able to bring in goods/presents to value of 250 CUC with first 50 CUC being duty free and 100% duty above that.  Now its up to 1000 CUC.
    Things like playstations, XBoxes etc were in the grey area but now are ok to bring.  Things like GPS, two-way radios, and other telecommunication equipment (other than cellphones) were completely prohibited.  Now can be brought in if you have a licence from cuban govt agency that controls them - am sure that as tourist you wont get one).
    As I said in the scope of things not much but still .....


  32. Follow up post #32 added on July 08, 2007 by Wajiro with 34 total posts

    There will be no shifts as long as Raul is power.
    I just got back from a 3 day trip and things are worse, food supply shortages in the interior is an old time high, as food is being re-routed to Havana to prop the capital where most visitors go.
    These little dictators are masters at making things look what they are not.
    Dissidents are being harassed, the 20 or so Journalists in Jail are very ill and get no medical help.
    Raul is a worse murderer than even Fidel, what changes ?



    “My Friends are those who think alike”

  33. Follow up post #33 added on July 08, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Thanks for posting. Interesting insight. We appreciate the information.

    Maybe Raul is gearing up for tourism at the expense of the common Cubans?



    Cuba consulting services

  34. Follow up post #34 added on July 09, 2007 by manfredz with 464 total posts

    in a perverted way, this is a trickle down benefit to more cubans.  if you can take out more black market cigars, you buy more,  selling price is 1-2 cuc/cigar.  so if a cuban sells just one tourist 50 instead of 23 cigars, he’s made more than the monthly salary of a doctor or engineer.  Both in Varadero and Santa Clara i saw small dept stores that cubans can shop in but have to pay in cuc. and what a contrast to the peso stores - these cuc stores are full of cuban shoppers - color tvs, mp3 players, digital cameras, canned and frozen foods.  meantime the cuban who has no contact to the tourist business or reatives abroad to send him money, watches from the outside - better get a grip on it cause its the stuff for social unrest.


  35. Follow up post #35 added on July 09, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Thanks for all your comments. Since this topic is a little outdated now, I am going to close this thread and take off the *sticky* tag so it will fall into place in the May 2007 archives of the Politics Section.



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