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Posted January 03, 2009 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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Tracey Eaton | Along the Malecon

Fidel Castro’s 16 words

Fidel Castro signed his last Reflection, as his essays are called, at 6:12 p.m. on Dec. 15. The column appeared in Granma, the Communist Party newspaper, and was entitled, “The unjustifiable destruction of the environment.”

The next words attributed to Fidel came at 7 p.m. on Dec. 31. The message was brief:

With the 50th anniversary of the triumph just a few hours away, I congratulate our heroic people.

Imagine that: Just 16 words (17 in the English translation) from the man who is said to have spoken more words on the public record than anyone else in history.
Now that could have been all that Fidel wanted to say. But it doesn’t seem to fit his style. I would have expected more words from the leader who holds the Guinness World Record for longest speech at the United Nations.

Those fleeting 16 words make me wonder if Fidel’s health has perhaps deteriorated. I know rumors about Fidel’s health are always floating around and it seems they’re usually wrong. I don’t want to contribute to that. But I can’t help but wonder what’s going on.

Some Cubans are certainly buzzing about it. One Havana resident told me he’s heard people speculating this week that Fidel is in very bad shape or has perhaps even died. There’s no evidence of this, but some Cubans are whispering and wondering, and some darkly suggest that authorities are keeping the legendary guerrillero on ice until after George Bush leaves office on Jan. 20 to deprive the American president the satisfaction of seeing Fidel’s demise during his watch.


  1. Follow up post #1 added on January 03, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    VERY insightful observation from Tracey.

    Imagine if Fidel died on the 50th Anniversary of Batista leaving Cuba. That would put Fidel’s life AND death in the history books forever and that is something Fidel would love to see.

    Is Fidel Castro dying… this time?

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  2. Follow up post #2 added on January 04, 2009 by gframe

    Fidel will never die in the minds of liberated cubans and other liberated people in this world.

  3. Follow up post #3 added on January 04, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    How exactly are Cubans liberated?

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