Cuba Politics

Fidel Castro falls and breaks knee in Santa Clara Cuba

Posted October 21, 2004 by publisher in Cuba Politics.

By ANITA SNOW | Associated Press Writer

image(AP Photo/APTN)

Cuban President Fidel Castro tripped and fell after leaving the stage at a graduation ceremony, fracturing a knee and arm but later returning to say that he was “all in one piece.”
Castro’s off-camera tumble after a Wednesday night speech in the central city of Santa Clara was certain to launch a new round of speculation about the 78-year-old communist leader’s health after 45 years of rule.

A medical examination early Thursday confirmed that Castro suffered a broken left knee and a hairline fracture in his upper right arm, said an official notice read early Thursday on state television. Castro asked that the note be made public, the statement said.

Castro spoke live on state television Wednesday night less than a minute after his fall, telling viewers across the island of 11.2 million peoples that he felt like he had broken his knee and perhaps his arm — “but I am all in one piece.”

“I will do what is possible to recover as fast as possible, but as you can see I can still talk,” he said, sweating profusely into his olive green uniform as he sat in a folding chair. “Even if they put me in a cast, I can continue in my work.”

An Associated Press photographer at the scene said Castro tripped on a concrete step after he finished walking down the stairs from the stage, then fell onto the ground on his right side, first hitting his knee and hip and then his elbow and arm.

He was immediately surrounded by scores of security agents and others who rushed to help him up.

The note aired Thursday morning said Castro express thanks “for the innumerable expressions of concern and solidarity from the people.”

“His general health is good, and is in excellent spirits,” the note said. “He asked for calm, considering that very soon he will be back in place.”

Castro was earlier seen leaving Santa Clara, about a three-hour drive east of Havana, in his regular black Mercedes Benz sedan.

Television viewers could not see what happened after Castro wrapped up the speech at a graduation ceremony for arts instructors. Television viewers only saw several of his security men running off to the side, evidently to assist him.

As he has grown older, Castro’s knees have seemed more wobbly, his step less steady. Nevertheless, he maintains a busy schedule that frequently includes all-night meetings with aides and visitors.

Castro’s health has long been closely watched ó particularly by his political enemies in Miami, home to a large Cuban exile community.

Such speculation was particularly fierce three years ago when he apparently fainted during a speech under a scorching Caribbean summer sun before a crowd of thousands.

Many people burst into tears after watching Cuba’s commander in chief start to collapse behind the podium several hours into that speech on June 23, 2001.

Castro returned minutes later to assure people in the audience ó and millions more watching it live on television ó that he was fine.

But the incident prompted many average Cubans to reflect for the first time on their leader’s mortality and the future of their country after he dies.

The Wednesday night incident seemed far less serious.

Castro on Wednesday asked Cubans to forgive him for “any suffering this may have caused.”

Castro noted the presence of international photographers and television camera crews at the event.

“The international press has captured it and surely tomorrow it will be on the front pages of the newspapers,” said Castro.

He then encouraged those at the event to continue with their televised musical program, which they did.

Member Comments

On October 21, 2004, Chulo wrote:

He looks pretty good on the floor, no?  hahaha

On October 21, 2004, Gregory wrote:


Good to hear from you again! How is life treating you in NYC? I am doing fine here in Havana.

Your personal pleasure at seeing him fall down only reveals your ongoing inner frustration that Fidel remains in power, notwithstanding all the attempts to overthrow him. He and the Revolution have been able to survive for 46 years and have a good chance of surviving into the future, just as Vietnam has. I have to laugh when I recall how, back in 1991, the Cuban exile community had reserved the Orange Bowl in Miami for a big event to celebrate the fall of Fidel Castro. You are still waiting. Those of us who support the Cuban Revolution will have the last laugh.

On October 21, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

I find nothing funny about any person falling down and getting hurt,shame on those who do,bet it would not be so funny to you if it was a family member of yours.

I did however find it a bit entertaining when Bush choked on a pretzel…now that’ funny!

On October 21, 2004, Angelo Secreto wrote:

I hope Mr.Castro gets well soon. I wrote a poem for him called- Get Well Soon Mr. Castro-is there an e-mail address I can send it to? or to him? Best Regards.

On October 22, 2004, Chulo wrote:

Wow.  You guys are pathetic.  When a guy who’ destroyed a country and killed so many people falls on his ugly face, it can’t get any funnier than that.  hahaha

On October 22, 2004, Kris wrote:

I think it was tacky of the U.S. official,when asked if he wished Fidel Castro well, said, “No”.  As an U.S. citizen, I would personally like to extend wishes for his recovery. 

On October 22, 2004, Pamela wrote:

I tooo pray that Mr Castro gets bettter.

On October 22, 2004, M from Canada wrote:

Shame on the people who find it funny that anyone has been hurt.  I wish Mr. Castro well.   

On October 22, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

Kris,not ponly was it tacky for the US official to say “No” he didnt wish Castro well but it also showed the ugly side of our government,our government preaches peace all the time,yet they do not have the common decency to wish a man well.

How peaceful is that?

On October 22, 2004, Meleena Araceli wrote:

I am an american Citizen, and I just wanted to extend my appoligies to Fidel for the ignorant, pig headed New Yorker that has commented twice on the page. i would like to agree with Gregory, he is absolutely right about americans waiting for Fidels reighn to fall, So that we can commercialize and rape the shit out ofthe beautiful country of Havana.So that young rich american kids can go party it up and trash everything that Cubans have worked and lived for the past 46 years. I find it absolutely frightning that when i speak to kids in my college and ask their opinion on the subject a lot of them cant wait for fidel to pass because Cuba is sooo close to Miami and it’ll be the new party spot. Ive been to a lot of “party spots” and they all look like shit, the people that live there are begging on the side of the road. Im first generation in the US originally from Mexico. And I see what the american government is doing to the indigenous people there and it sadens me to no extent that american people are so ignorant to whats really going on. I wish they could all ope their eyes and see that America is not what we used to be when it first started and its not all about making bigger cars and buying bigger houses and all the latest fashions. America was built to be a country other countries could looka at as an example of our democracy. Now all we are doing is raping the lesser countries and reaping the benefits and selling our country for oil and money….. im sorry if none of this makes sense, im trying to rush out, but i had to comment….

Again… i send out my best wishes to Fidel…. and to all the cubans who know the truth and are trying to fight the evils and corruption of this earth.

peace and love
JAH bless


On October 22, 2004, ASecreto wrote:

So good to read the support of Mr.Castro-anyone over 50 knows how the U.S puts puppets in place-and really doesn`care what it takes or leaves behind-after ther resources are taken out.

On October 22, 2004, M from Canada wrote:

The anti Castro people need to do some research and find out what Cuba was like before the revolution.  Look no further than American policies and you will find why Castro gained support. Their puppet leader stole a fortune from Cuba.

On October 22, 2004, D. Robledo wrote:

Anyone with a little humanity will agree that it is sad to see an old man fall and get hurt; however, we don’t have to feel TOO sorry for el barbudo.

It is now his time to face HIS mortality as so many of his enemies already have. There’ no denying he has caused a great deal of suffering, struggle, and death to many Cubans and Cuban-Americans. So it is only a fitting comeuppance for him to finally (and in a very public and humiliating way) face the reality of his withering physical and mental capacities.

However, do not underestimate the well-oiled political machine that is the Cuban Communist party as well as the power of Castro’ closest supporters and cronies. I would think many of them have grown quite rich and powerful thanks to Castro, and they will do everything possible to protect that and to neutralize the C.A.N.F.

Remember, Cubans have lived with el Barbudo for over 4 decades; that’ at least 3 generations of Cubans that have been educated and indoctrinated with the party’ extremely effective propaganda. Yes, many Cubans can’t wait for Castro to leave the picture once and for all; but I believe when that happens, the South Florida exile community will find themselves quite surprised when they are not exactly welcomed back with open arms. . .

And the Cubanos certainly don’t want an onslaught of Yumas in Havana running American-owned businesses with American employees catering to American tourists. . . just the way it was in the “good old days” of Batista and Machado!!

There’ a perception on the island that those who live on the other side of the pond have had it pretty easy compared to those who stayed behind; whether that it is true or not, we all know that perceptions are usually more important than reality and this is bound to cause a lot of friction between both sides. Plus, Fidel has been saying for decades that the “mafia” has been the main reason why the bloqueo still exists and you’ve got quite a bit of resentment to deal with once all the touchy-feely family reunions are over. . .

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think the U.S. has a better chance of “democratizing” Iraq than it does Cuba, LOL!!

On October 23, 2004, Joanne from Maine wrote:

I would like to personally wish Fidel Castro a heartfelt “Get Well”. I have admired him all my adult life. History will reveal the lies that my country spreads about him. And it will be remembered long after we all have gone that Fidel Castro stood his ground against U.S. imperialism.

            GET WELL MY FRIEND

On October 25, 2004, Fara wrote:

Screw Him!  As he has fallen so will his dictatorship- he does not deserve any well wishes or sympathy- Did he well wished my uncle for keeping him jailed like an animal for 25 years? Did he show any sympathy for killing people? NO, he did not!

Too many communist in this country and Canada- they should all go to Cuba and scrunge to feed their children after Mr. Castro rations the food- Why are they in this country or Canada??? Go to Cuba and Live there- see how you all will like it!

I just feel bad for the one that has to wipe his behind after he goes to the bathroom- but then again, they chose to be on his side- so, may the Shit be with them!


On October 25, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

Fara why was your father imprisoned for 25 years? He was a saint right?

Who did Fidel have killed for absolutely no reason at all?

My uncle was imprisoned and then killed by Castro,but there was a reason,my uncle fought against Castro and his ways,it is war,and sadly at war it’ an equal playing field for both sides,ask the US,they dropped the big one on the Japanese,are in Iraq for no good reason,killed many civilians in Panama,killed many Germans after the war etc. etc. etc..

So again I ask you,who has Castro killed for no good reason?,please do not say such and such who was against his ways,because that is not a proper excuse.

On October 25, 2004, ASecreto wrote:

I can`t help but notice all -or just about all Anti-Castro views-never say if there is any personnal responsibility for any actions on their part-for getting themselves -in deep sxit-its blame and shame-makes the U.S SPIN around-And if the U.S DID not try and murder him-over 40 years ago. So he did not become the U.S`s-whore-we condem him? Get well soon FC. 

On October 25, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

Fara,I am not communist,I unlike others in this twisted world do not see things the way some try to paint it.

Starving an entire nation with an embargo cause of one man is NOT right,it’ inhumane!

You cannot make a bad thing good with bad moves,especially a bad move like the embargo which has proven to fail for over 4 decades.

Think it’ time for a change,lets make a goodwill move by lifting the embargo and stop starving our own while sitting pretty in the US and throwing away leftovers while Cubans starve in Cuba.

For starters.

Let’ try this, lift the embargo and set certain laws in place while lifted, sign an agreement with the Cuban government that rations MUST be raised to an agreed level.

Also set a certain amount of salary for each working Cuban depending on what skills they have.

For example: Pay a doctor X determined amount of cash monthly,so on and so on..

Now if the Cuban government agrees to these terms and breaks them,then the US can reorder the embargo as a breach of contract,but we MUST start somewhere!

Cuba will stay the same even when Fidel has passed away,do not think for one minute the US is going to invade Cuba when word of his death gets back to the US,you MUST have grounds for an invasion,if the you say theres inhumane acts reasons to invade then you havent been listening to anything in the last 4 decades,if the US really thought there were acts of inhumane,injustice in Cuba they would of invaded years ago,cant you see that?

If you’re really mad then be mad at those who drew up and signed a treaty with Castro that basically makes him untouchable.


On October 26, 2004, Ron wrote:

It is nice to see communism finally fall.

On October 27, 2004, Songuacassal wrote:



Ahora, cuando Fidel verdaderamente vaya de este mundo, vamos tener la libertad que deseamos para nuestra Cuba? Libertad del comunismo y neo-capitalismo? Libertad de la dictadura Castrista y del Embargo?

Solamente puedo esperar que si, porque solamente la muetre es ciencia y lo resto es creencia. Y con eso, es cierto que Fidel va a tener su dia, pero esperamos, y creemos que con la proxima “caida” de Fidel, la gente de Cuba podria lanzar adelante con la plena exprecion de la libertad que se desean vivir!

Cuba SI! Castro NO! Yanqui NO!

On October 27, 2004, BlindLeadingBlind wrote:

And you think by Castro dieing Cuba will be freed from the communist hold?

What makes you say that or even claim that?

Castro’ ways will still be intact with him dead.

The US is NOT going to rush into Cuba once Castro is dead,they can’t,they have NO reason to and after the screw up of the invasion of Iraq they most likely be a lot more careful when even thinking of invading another country again.

Now if you tell me that the 2-3 million Cuban pendejos who ran from Cuba like a bunch of chcikens went back to Cuba to TRY to do something about things when Castro dies,than may be I’d say you have a chance,oh damn,wait,you would have to deal with the Cuban citizens in Cuba first, it’ a lost cause my friend,Cuba with Castro dead will STILL be Cuba the way it is now,period!

Ohhhh..but that"s right,the Cubans who left Cuba who now sit comfortable in the US don’t mind harming their own,you see exiled Cubans would most likely go back to Cuba and kill anyone,women and children included if need be(civilians)to take back the homes they left behind while they ran like hell from Cuba,you see those same murderers are the ones who support the embargo,they like to laugh at Cubans in Cuba as they stuff their faces with food in the US all the while starving their own people.

Unless somehow someone whacks Raul and every Castro government cronie down the line within a few days of Fidel’ death,but the odds of that happening are greater then finding WMD’ in Iraq.

On October 30, 2004, Leydis wrote:

I love how everyone in the site talk so highly of something they have never lived. I have only been in the United States for about 1 year and 6 months and I can tell you that Castro has murder hundreds of innocents and has destroyed thousands of families. I have seen it with my own eyes. And maybe to some that isn’t important, but when you are in those families shoes you’ll see it different. I studied and became a doctor thinking i would be able to help my country, how can yu if their is no supplies to help. The reason there is no supplies isn’t because of the embargo, because for your information we only have that with the united states, we are at fine with europe. It is because what is shipped to our country is only seen and used by government leaders and ect. But for the country for all they care we can rot and die. What kind of good president lets their people strave. Where the Humanity there!! Thanks god for the United States and Admendment 1!!

On October 30, 2004, YoungCuban wrote:

Of those supposivly thousands Castro had killed,how many were innocent from any charge?

All of them died just because he used them for target practice?

Or,did they die because they were against the government?

I’m just curious.

On November 04, 2004, Songuacassal wrote:

Oye,Youngcuban, no se que decir chico… I normally don’t like writing more than one thread per article… pero concho I have to say something to you in your replies to Leydis y Fara.

Primer Punto: “if the US really thought there were acts of inhumane,injustice in Cuba they would of invaded years ago,cant you see that?” Perdoname, pero no sabes que estas diciendo. The US only invades when there is personal intrest or profit. Y te digo francamente que el EEUU no esta interesado tanto en la libertad de Cuba que en el voto Cubano-Americano. The US will not invade Cuba so long as the embargo can sway a Cuban-American’ choice for a politician.

Segundo Punto: Cuando hay gente encarcelada y matada UNJUSTLY then they are imprisoned and killed INNOCENTLY regardless of the Government. Read the UN Declaration of Human rights, see what Castro is doing, y por amor de Dios dejas de fastidiar.

On November 25, 2004, jiya wrote:


On November 25, 2004, ASecreto32. wrote:

Pleased you are doing better Mr.Castro and congrats-on your recent trade deal with China-to the tune of 500 million-fine use of your Capitalist smarts. Peace.

On January 05, 2011, JAMES wrote:

I travel alot to cuba every year for vacation , im from Canada , and although there is an american embargo on cuba from the states i wish to never see them there because they r dirty and disgusting people. Cubans are the best people on earth kind and generous . Dont ever let the united states come there ,they will only stink up the place like they do most everywhere else , i hope americans get bombed with a nuke from the world so that way the smell will leave.