Rob Sequin | Havana Journal
Original article is by WILL WEISSERT of the AP with the original title of “Stronger Fidel Castro meets with Brazil president” but I have to wonder. So, bare with me while I read between the lines (speculate) on the mental condition of Fidel Castro.
Below you can read the original article then view the photos taken at the meeting between Lula and Fidel then read my comments.
HAVANA — Wearing his now-trademark track suit, Fidel Castro smiles happily and appears to vigorously embrace his longtime friend, the president of Brazil.
The image, one of numerous photographs released Wednesday, shows the 83-year-old former Cuban leader looking healthier and stronger than at many points since he took ill with an undisclosed ailment 3 1/2 years ago.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who met with Castro behind closed doors Wednesday, described him as being “exceptionally well,” Brazil’s private Agencia Estado news agency reported, citing unidentified Silva aides.
Silva spent more than an hour discussing various topics with Castro, who ceded power to his younger brother Raul — first temporarily, then permanently — after undergoing emergency intestinal surgery in July 2006.
The meeting was closed to international news media based in Havana, but information about it was carried by Agencia Estado and Cuban state media.
Recent photographs released by Cuba’s government have also shown a healthier-looking Fidel Castro.
Wednesday’s images show a beaming Castro chatting with Silva and mugging for the camera with the Brazilian president’s communications minister while Silva himself takes a photo.
The gray-bearded revolutionary was thought to be in far graver health — in fact, rumors of his imminent death were frequent — the last time Silva came to see him in January 2008.
This time, Silva felt Castro looked “much different” and improved, Agencia Estado reported.
Cuba’s state television led its evening newscast with a report on the meeting, though it didn’t broadcast any images of Castro until the 30-minute show’s closing, when it displayed several still photographs of the former leader.
Lula says that Fidel looked “much different”. I’ll say!
I am saying there is a reason that Fidel has not been out in public or even on Cuban television… he does not have his mental faculties. Fidel has always been known to ramble on and I have seen it in person when I sat for a speech in the audience where he talked for three and a half hours without notes or a break. Fidel LOVES LOVES LOVES to be the center of attention so I have been asking myself for a long time, why won’t he come out in public? Does he just want to retire and live a quiet life? Yeah right!
Look at these photos and tell me if you can fill in any words in a word bubble over Fidel’s head. Honestly the only word I can put in a word bubble over his head is “Huh?”. Do you agree that “nobody’s home” in Fidel’s head? How else do you explain that dumb look and blank stare on his face? Did Fidel ever look bewildered, unfocused, distracted when he was President? Nope. Not that I can remember.
I think the Cuban government is hiding his mental condition and there is nothing we or the Cuban people can do about it. Why else would he never leave his home? Ever.
Also, note that Fidel has only written two Reflections since September of 2009 (if you want to say that he is writing these Reflections)
Photos by (AP Photo/Brazil’s Presidency, Ricardo Stuckert)
When have you ever seen Fidel pose and smile for a camera especially with this childish look on his face?
Fidel not engaging in eye contact during a close moment with Lula.
A two handed hand shake? Really? Does this photo give you the impression of a man with all his faculties?
Fidel looking into the wrong camera. Lula saying “Fidel, over here, look at me? And what’s the deal with Raul in the background? Remember these are official photos from Lula’s office and these are the BEST ones that they could release? The best ones? Wow, I would hate to see the rejects.
Fidel looks like he is saying to Raul “Who are you again?”
Fidel, again not talking in any of the photos… looks like he is thinking to himself “I want to ride my bicycle now.”
So, remembering that these are the best official photos of Lula’s visit with Fidel and Raul, what can you read into these photos?
Why wasn’t Fidel shown talking in any photos? We all know Fidel loves to talk.
Why was Raul standing in the background for a photo? I think Lula, Raul and Fidel have their own handlers that know how to frame a shot and someone should have told Raul to move out of the picture… if they wanted him to move out of the picture.
Is Lula trying to tell the world with these photos that Fidel no longer has his mental faculties?
Why was the meeting only one hour long? Because Fidel had nothing to say.