Rob Sequin | Havana Journal
The death of Fidel Castro has been a “fact” several times since he has fallen ill in July of 2006. As readers of the Havana Journal already know, he has not been seen in public since then. He has appeared in video clips and photos meeting with foreign leaders and others but this time, mounting evidence makes this time feel a little different. This evidence is coming directly from Fidel himself in such a way that things are TOO quiet in Cuba.
There are several articles below that all offer “evidence” that all is not so well with Fidel.
1. November 19 2008 photos of Fidel with Chinese President Hu showed Fidel looking terrible.
2. Long time Cuba journalist and expert Tracey Eaton speculates that something may not be right with Fidel because he didn’t have much to say for the eve of the anniversary of the Revolution on December 31, 2008.
3. The International Herald Tribune reports that Hugo Chavez says that Fidel Castro will not return to public life a few days ago.
4. The Sun Sentinel weighs in with a Where’s is Fidel? article yesterday.
5. Miami Herald’s Cuban Colada writes a nice summary of Fidel’s current state of health with a title Signs Keep Adding Up. The author Renato adds this interesting observation at #9 “The website Cubadebate on Tuesday published a praiseful article about President Correa’s visit written NOT by Fidel but by Randy Alonso Falcón, host of the TV program Round Table, in which Fidel often participated. I find this remarkable. This kind of laudatory article about a visiting leader has always been written by Fidel, not by a surrogate.”
6. Jeff Franks from Reuters is compelled to write about Fidel’s absence and how the silence is stirring rumors about the state of Fidel Castro’s health... or would that be the state of Fidel Castro’s death?
7. Uncommon Sense blog and Cuban insider Marc Masferrer is reporting that he is hearing things inside Cuba about Fidel Castro’s death.
8. Reliable journalist Frances Robles is reporting that “‘reliable sources have said that Fidel Castro has taken gravely ill”.
Oddly enough though, ardent Cuba watcher and rabid anti-Castro website BabaluBlog.com has little to say about any of this.
So, is all this just the same information feeding on itself. Is Fidel Castro healthy? Is this all a ploy by the Cuban government to test the loyalties of lower level military personnel? Are these just rumors that are in some way timed to be relevant to Obama’s inauguration?
I don’t know. I am not declaring Fidel dead but if you have ANY interest in anything Cuba related, you better be paying attention.
I just made a pass through all the Cuba news sources and blogs that I follow and no mention of any updates regarding the health, life or death of Fidel Castro. I am surprised that the Cuban government has not released any statement about Fidel or that Fidel has not published a Reflection of any kind now since December 15, which is five weeks back.
Why is there no news or word from Fidel Castro? Too quiet if you ask me. No parting words for George Bush?
UPDATE 1/21… again
Cuban President Raul Castro dismissed rumors on Wednesday that his older brother Fidel Castro was at death’s door, saying he is exercising and helping him in his duties.
“He is exercising, thinking a lot, reading a lot, assisting me and helping,” Raul Castro told reporters at Havana airport where he was seeing off Argentine President Cristina Fernandez after her official visit to Cuba.
“Soon I’m going to make a trip to Europe. Do you think I could leave from here if Fidel was gravely ill?” he said. Speculation about Fidel Castro’s condition had risen in recent weeks after he stopped writing opinion columns and did not attend celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the revolution.
“We talked about everything. He looked very good to me. We talked about the international situation,” she was quoted as saying by Argentina’s official news agency, Telam.
So, even though this “evidence” is sketchy, I am going to believe it but reserve the idea that perhaps Fidel’s mind is dead but not his body.