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Posted January 30, 2007 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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Cuban television has shown its first pictures for three months of ailing leader Fidel Castro.

Mr Castro, 80, was seen standing during a meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, which was said to have taken place on Monday.

He appeared frail but stronger than three months ago.

Mr Castro has not been seen in public since undergoing gastric surgery in July, prompting speculation that he had cancer or was terminally ill.

The pictures show Mr Castro joking with Mr Chavez and saying: “As I have said, this is far from being a lost battle.”

Mr Chavez replies that this is a battle that will be won. It had not been announced that he was in Cuba.

The BBC’s Stephen Gibbs in Havana says that Mr Castro still looks frail but has recovered noticeably since his last appearance on television in October.

Mr Castro’s health is treated as a state secret in Cuba. Authorities will only say that he is recuperating satisfactorily.

His younger brother Raul has been acting as president since July.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on January 30, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Sorry, don’t have the video clip yet. Reuters and AP also providing the same story with no other details than this video was shown on Cuban television.

    Any way to confirm that Chavez was in Cuba today? I guess that would be pretty ballsy propaganda if Chavez was seen in Venezuela today.

    So, more “non-news” out of Cuba.

    Do you believe it? Can this be older footage?

    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on January 31, 2007 by Pete Chavez

    Castro is not the type of personality that would reveal his convalescence by showing himself in a pseudo slumber party with Chavez.  The decision to release those images and to convey recovery,  look to be from the hands of a third party (maybe a Raul confidante).  If he we convalesceing in a truly positive manner he would have given a sole appearance with a direct public address and a long one at that.  This is definitively not his style.  And while I have not seen the video, the images are undignified as it is.  Can you imagine Tony Blair (a foreign head of state) at Bush’s side if Bush were recuperating from a deathly illness and the visit was being used as news that he is on his way to a speedy recovery?  Why not his wife or kids at his side?  I find it tasteless, grotesque and scary.  What’s next a game of Dominoes with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?  Or poker with Evo?  It’s all too bizarre and not his style, this really looks like it happened way back when.

  3. Follow up post #3 added on January 31, 2007 by YUCA


    It seems the video is real,judging from what is mentioned in this article.

    “The date that Tuesday’s video was taken could not be immediately confirmed. In it, Chavez said the two-hour private meeting took place on Monday and ended at 3 p.m. on Jan 29. In Caracas, a presidential spokeswoman, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, confirmed that Chavez made a one-day visit to Havana on Monday.”

    “On the video, Castro was also heard reading aloud a headline from a printout of an article dated Saturday from the Web version of Argentine newspaper Clarin.”

  4. Follow up post #4 added on January 31, 2007 by Varsi Padayachee

    My son, a student at a Canadian University, apparently saw the video, and was of the opinion that the video was authentic.
    It appears that news of his demise are premature.

  5. Follow up post #5 added on January 31, 2007 by Varsi Padayachee

    A quick note to the skeptics. Both BBC and the Guardian of London also endorsed the autheticity of the video. I suspect that all the part favors are being put into storage!

  6. Follow up post #6 added on January 31, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    If I was a Cuban living on the island I would feed disrespected by Fidel Castro and the way the news of his illness is being handled. If he can take time to meet with Chavez, you think he could find time to address the Cuban people.

    VERY sad that Castro treats his people with such disrespect. Doesn’t he owe it to them since they “supported” him since 1959?

    Cuba consulting services

  7. Follow up post #7 added on January 31, 2007 by MiamiCuban

    I’m no expert on videos so I can’t comment in that respect.  However, what does make me believe it is authentic is that too many people, including one of Spain’s most eminent doctors who went to visit Castro personally, have their entire reputation at stake by lying about Castro’s recovery.  I can’t imagine they would put their professional credibility on the line for a lie that would eventually be exposed.

  8. Follow up post #8 added on January 31, 2007 by MiamiCuban

    Publisher,  I don’t think the Cubans on the island see Castro’s behavior as a lack of respect.  From what I’ve heard from those who have traveled there within recent months is that they don’t see anything odd about what is going on.  Most wish him a steady recovery, but they go about their daily activities just the same.  It’s here in Miami that you find constant speculation on radio and t.v., and also the workplace.  It’s THE topic of conversation.

  9. Follow up post #9 added on January 31, 2007 by Varsi Padayachee

    How do we know what the People on the Island know or saw? Do we have uncontraverted proof that he kept the Cuban people in the dark? Before we pass judgement, lets get to the facts? Can his disrespect be verified, or is this another excercise a Fidel bashing!

  10. Follow up post #10 added on January 31, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts


    I am not doubting that this video was shown on Cuban television. As far as Cubans being kept in the dark, that is pretty obvious. Every statement about Fidel’s health makes international news.

    What I am saying is disrespectful is Fidel’s lack of statements directly to his Cuban people. I think he owes it to his people to tell them what’s going on and that he is retired.

    Statements that Fidel is recovering and will be back at work seems more like a lie to me than the truth. I suppose time will tell but I am saying that Fidel owes his people more than propaganda.

    Then again, they have only had propaganda so I guess now is no different.

    PS My definition of propaganda is a centrally controlled media that only reports what the state wants reported and how the state wants news reported.

    Cuba consulting services

  11. Follow up post #11 added on January 31, 2007 by Varsi Padayachee

    Mr. Publisher, your assertions are purely conjecture. There is nothing obvious about what was told or not told to the Cuban people. Yes it has made the International News Circuit. These International News Organizations, like BBC, The Guardian, Al Jazeera have bureaus in Havana. And they have not subsidized your statements. I will agree with you if there is proof to support your assertion. So far, all we have heard are the opinions of those opposed, withot any supporting argument.
    As to a propagandized media, we should not look too far. We have been “blessed” with Fox, CNN, MSNBC, Miami Herald, NY Times, the Washington Post, Disney and the like. Given this fact, one could quite easily see your point of view.

  12. Follow up post #12 added on January 31, 2007 by Cuban American

    MiamiCuban, I highly doubt you have taken a poll of whether or not the cuban people really wish Fidel a steady recovery, and I mean asking them without a camera in there face and off the record… because remember, they do not want to be political prisoners.  As for the news of castro in Cuba, I am sure they get a lot of news about his current condition, and they all probably go a little something like this “I am doing great, and will be back very soon! Viva la revolucion!”  Hell, they have probably heard that comment over and over again since july.

  13. Follow up post #13 added on January 31, 2007 by Pete Chavez

    I have contact with people on the island pretty often and have spoken to two visiting tourist that have recently arrived from there.  Castro’s health and speculation about his impending demise is on everybody’s lips but behind closed doors of course.  You all forget, all to often that the people in Miami are actually Cubans!  They just have the ability to speculate anywhere and everywhere they choose and are pleased to.  One must also keep in mind people on the island are very worried about what the future might bring.  Volatile power struggles etc.  Remember Cuba has not seen a legal, institutional handing over of power from one elected leader to another since the late 1940’s.  The cuban people are now being dealt a hand of Communist Monarchy.  If that’s not a lack of respect for us why should it be surprizing to anyone that Castro treats his illness like some bizare cultish state secret, only to be shared with other foreign heads of state and all the while keeping the Cuban people out of the loop.

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