Cuba Politics

Is Cuba preparing the world for the death of Fidel Castro?

Posted August 13, 2009 by publisher in Cuba Politics.

Rob Sequin | Havana Journal

There are several things that are making me wonder if Fidel Castro is dead… for real this time.

Perhaps the Cuban government is preparing the world for the death of Fidel Castro.

Here are several items, taken collectively can make one wonder about the health of Fidel Castro.

1. Fidel Castro not seen alive since June
2. No recent “Reflections”
3. No comments on Raul’s Presidency.
4. Release of healthy photos of Fidel.
5. No mention of Fidel’s birthday today.

Fidel Castro not seen alive since June 11

The last person from outside of Cuba to see Fidel Castro alive is Evo Morales on June 11. We posted this article and will keep it updated whenever a leader from outside of Cuba confirms to the international audience that Fidel Castro is alive. As of today, it has been over two months since anyone has seen him alive.

No recent “Reflections” on current events

Fidel has not posted a Reflection regarding a current event since July 23. His last two Reflections have been “evergreen” meaning that he could have written them in the past so someone could release and post them at any time and make it look like Fidel is still writing his Reflections… if indeed he is writing them.

No comments on Raul’s Presidency

Many times since Raul has been President of Cuba, Fidel would comment on something Raul said. In many cases Fidel would “clarify” Raul’s position as in the case when Raul said that he would talk about “everything” with the United States and how the US misinterpreted Raul’s comments. This was back in April. I cannot think of a recent comment from Fidel concerning Raul’s words or actions.

Release of healthy photos of Fidel

Fidel Castro’s son is presenting a photo exhibit of a healthier looking Fidel but will only say that the photo was taken “very recently”. This tends to make one wonder why won’t his son say when the picture was taken. Also, according to the AP, the man in the photo is an air conditioning repairman. Why couldn’t the photographer wait until the repairman was out of the photo? Why is this photo exhibit so lame and why is this news?

Smells like more propaganda. Is this the best celebration that the Cuban government can orchestrate for Fidel’s 83rd birthday? Doesn’t seem like too many people in the Cuban government care much about Fidel anymore.

No mention of Fidel’s birthday today

The silence is deafening. Today is Fidel’s 83rd birthday and I am seeing ZERO reports out of Cuba of any celebrations… not even propaganda other than the lame photo exhibit mentioned above.


As a Cuba watcher for now eleven years, I have read thousands of articles containing either pure propaganda or Communist spin. I have to wonder why today all is quiet in Cuba regarding Fidel.

Is the Cuban government winding down the Fidel Castro propaganda machine in order to make him less relevant so when he is pronounced dead that the country will not miss him as much? Certainly sounds like a plan that is in Raul’s best interest for the sake of his security as President.

All is quiet in Cuba regarding Fidel. Why?

Anyone else get the sense that something feels different this time?

Member Comments

On August 13, 2009, romulo sans wrote:

good point Rob

On August 13, 2009, Nelson Valdes wrote:

Well your batting average is, well, 0.00

1. Fidel appeared in a photo with people from a US delegation.
2. There have been several reflexiones just this week. [Fidel is working on his memoirs].
3. Your third point makes no sense.
4. The release of photos as well as a book - marks his 83rd birthday!
5. Angélica Paredes of Radio progreso (Habana) had a comment. Granma and other papers had comments on FC birthday.

On August 13, 2009, John J. Young wrote:

Pray, what difference would it make? (One way or the other?) Many of us outsiders will miss the maestro’s “powers of persuasion”, but we move on, claro? I’m concerned for the lovely Cuban people and how the future would allow us a better existence. Let’s look to that tomorrow. Obama can make an enormous difference to change, don’t you think?

On August 13, 2009, John Webster wrote:

Interesting observations ... and the AC repair guy being visible in the image must reflect some symbol but at this point it escapes me.

On August 13, 2009, Walter Lippmann wrote:

Fidel is perfectly alive, Rob. Didn’t you see the photos posted yesterday with Lucius Walker, Tom Smith and Ellen Bernstein? And there’s a nice new reflection today. Here’s that one:

I realize you want to see Fidel dead, but you’ll have to wait a good deal longer.

On August 13, 2009, kathleen san juan wrote:

we are to believe that Fidel is healthy enough to meet with every foreign leader who drops by, but never once in more than TWO years has he even said hello to his own people. 

Say what you like about the bearded one, but this is (was?) a man who lived to feel the adoration of the Cuban people.  He spoke for hours in front of crowds of fans, and if he had a breath left in his body, he would have dozens of little schoolchildren in their blue and white pioneer uniforms singing patriotic songs to him around his hospital bed.

If Fidel had been alive these last 2 years he never would have stayed away from HIS Cuban people, even as he found the time and energy to meet with a low level American delegation.  He is a Leo, like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, except Fidel is what we call a Triple Leo!  He could never be alive and breathing and healthy as he appears in these photos, yet never make a televised appearance in Cuba in more than two years.

On August 13, 2009, Nelson Valdes wrote:

Perhaps reading Max Weber would explain why it is not appropriate that FC appear in public. Charismatic authority in order to enhance and further institutionalization, needs to take a back seat to those who now have formal authority and power. He is doing what the coyuntura historica requires of him.

On August 13, 2009, publisher wrote:


Thanks. It means a lot coming from you.



1. The US delegation was back in April so June 11 stands as the last date that Fidel has been seen alive by someone outside of the Cuban government.

2. As I said, the latest Reflections are “evergreens” meaning that he may have written them months ago.

3. Fidel likes to comment on Raul’s Presidency very regularly. I haven’t heard Fidel correct Raul for many months.

4. Photos and book are undated. You have not refuted this point either.

5. So comments in two news sources constitute a celebration of Fidel’s birthday.

You have not given me any reason to doubt myself or the points I’ve made in this article.

All remains quiet in Cuba… too quiet.


John Webster,

The AC repair is cooling off the room where Fidel’s dead body is lying. grin Maybe there’s just too much “hot air” in the room.



I did not know about that photo so I’ll give you that one and admit that Fidel Castro is not dead. I now have to wonder about his mental ability and state of physical health.

On August 13, 2009, publisher wrote:


Great point.

On August 13, 2009, publisher wrote:

I just updated our article regarding the last date for Fidel to be seen alive.

I don’t doubt the validity of the Pastors for Peace photo but I would like to have read more positive comment from the Reverend regarding Fidel’s mental and physical condition.

So, the question remains, is Cuba preparing the world for the death of Fidel Castro?

On August 13, 2009, Nelson Valdes wrote:

Maybe someone is NOT reading Fidel’s reflexiones! His last reflexion (yesterday) states:

“Por otro lado, la BBC Mundo INFORMO AYER, 11 DE AGOSTO, que mil funcionarios de Naciones Unidas, reunidos en Bonn, Alemania, declararon que buscan el camino para un acuerdo sobre el cambio climático en diciembre de este año, pero que el tiempo se estaba acabando.”

That comment suggests that Fidel READ and then COMMENTED on a news item from the BBC as of August 11 of THIS YEAR, that is, 48 hours.

A PREVIOUS reflexion quotes a statement made by Barack Obama and distributed by the US Department of State, issued on August 7th. The Reflexion says, “En momentos en que México ha sufrido un doble golpe…” Fidel was quoting the statement as it appeared in Excelsior. See:

CONCLUSION: Wishful thinking should not replace ANALYSIS. Of course, it has been claimed that someone has followed Cuba for 11 years. That is child’s play. i have done so since 1961.

ADVISE: Follow Mexican commedian Cantinflas insight: “En el detalle esta la diferencia.” That is, one needs to pay attention to the DETAILS!

On August 13, 2009, Manuel wrote:

Fidel Castro is dead since a very very very long time ago.  All depend of meaning you have regarding TO BE ALIVE!

On August 13, 2009, Ben Corbett wrote:

Hey Rob,

Brilliant points from everyone here. I’m almost convinced that Castro has been dead for three years now, just as I’m convinced bin Laden is dead and on ice at the Pentagon, ready to be thawed at a moment’s notice to be “discovered dead” in the Afghan desert when the time is right.

As for Castro, there has been no convincing evidence to the contrary since he stepped down. Anyone could be writing those coluns in Granma, and Evo Morales can certainly keep a secret like this in the interest of both socialism and the benefits that Bolivia continues to receive from Cuba.

Yes, Fidel is already dead and has been. The question is, “When is the right time for him to die? What events will prompt the Cuban state to announce his death?”

My guess is that when things reach a boiling point in Cuba due to the increasing hardships, they’ll make the announcement. Remember in 1994 when there were throngs of pissed Cubans along the Malecon at the height of the Special Period and Fidel went down there in person to quell the discontent? We are not far from this happening again. Things are getting worse by the day in Cuba with increasing shortages. Frustration is mounting. Should things boil over into chaos, the announcement that Fidel has died would give Cubans the idea that, “Hey, he’s now dead, now things will change.” It would produce instant calm.

On August 13, 2009, publisher wrote:


Good points.

1. Based on the recent photo of Fidel with Rev. Walker, I have to say he’s alive. I am not a big conspiracy theorist and hiding Fidel’s death would take a big conspiracy with lots of people. They maybe be able to hide it for a few days or week maybe but no more than that. The doctors that see him regularly, the security etc??? Word would leak out soon after his death.

2. I do agree with your point that an announcement could very well quell and uprising for the very reason you mention but wouldn’t the people find it odd that Fidel would die just at that time?

On August 13, 2009, John McAuliff wrote:

The Pastors for Peace article and photos are here

My own impression from a decade of annual visits to Cuba is there are ideological and practical differences between Cubans, including Fidel and Raul, on how the country can most effectively meet contemporary domestic and international challenges.  It is apparent that Fidel has trouble taking on a Nelson Mandela role of revered but uninvolved founding father, and that his personal engagement has complicated Raul’s efforts at reform.

However, I am disturbed by Americans, whether friendly or hostile, becoming strongly involved in another country’s internal social and political choices.  Making Fidel a savior or a devil and elevating idealized revolutionaries or marginal dissidents and bloggers to more than symbolic political significance complicates the task facing Americans.

Our job is to simply give Cubans as much space as is possible in this densely interconnected world to sort out their own priorities and personalities.  Getting President Obama to end limits on non-tourist travel and the Congress to enable tourism and all other travel are the first essential steps to opening windows and doors for dialogue and confidence building.  Terminating interventionist USAID programs, US Interests Section sponsorship of dissidents and hostile TV and radio broadcasts and the false characterization of Cuba as a State Supporter of Terrorism are the second step toward normalcy.  Listening to virtually the whole world and ending the aggression of a unilateral embargo is the third and most decisive stage.

Whomever is in charge of Cuba’s government, Fidel, Raul, or their collective successors will by choice or necessity engage with that new reality.  My guess, and only a guess, is that the initial direction will be similar to Vietnam, opening to domestic and international market economics and increasing the amount of personal freedom. 

Where that goes and how fast in terms of American and Hemispheric concepts of freedom of association, press and governance is only up to the people and institutions of Cuba.  The more we insist, from the left, center or right, on what should happen, the harder it is for an organic evolution to take place.

On August 13, 2009, publisher wrote:


Thanks for your input.

“However, I am disturbed by Americans, whether friendly or hostile, becoming strongly involved in another country’s internal social and political choices.  Making Fidel a savior or a devil and elevating idealized revolutionaries or marginal dissidents and bloggers to more than symbolic political significance complicates the task facing Americans.”

I don’t agree. We love our freedom and democracy and I don’t think it’s wrong to want to export that to Cuba.

I agree with your other statements.

On August 13, 2009, Yolanda Diaz wrote:

What difference does it make whether he is alive or not. At this point, all the harm has been done. Innocent people went before the firing squads, just because they refused to join him and his henchmen or because they sympathized with the prior government (Batista). He came, killed thousands without due proccess, whether guilty or innocent of any crimes or just because they refused to acknowledge the new regime as their government..some were mere children, 13, 14, 15yrs. old. The torture was unbelievable..I know all this because of family members/friends who were lucky enough after being tortured, etc. to come out of the prisons/Cuba and made it to the USA, our home since 1959 for some of us.

On August 13, 2009, manfredz wrote:

I think it makes a lot of difference whether he is alive or dead.
He has demonstrated that he still has a de-facto veto that he’s not afraid to use if changes are not to his liking.
Although I don’t expect much to really change under Raol, the potential is still there once Fidel is dead; similarly I expect other options for change to emerge once Fidel is dead and unable to veto or influence such change.
Yolanda, hard as it may be, I think its time to move on - times have changed in Cuba.

On August 13, 2009, mfquevedok wrote:

Alive or dead is the same thing because is not longer part of the government.
Very ill and mentally slow and non-orientated is already HISTORY.

But getting the point, the important is if the Cuban people who live in Cuba island truly believe in DEMOCRACY & FREEDOM and want all them up, both.  50 years of material and moral degradation have been enough time to kill too much inside, or make very ill that light and necessity.  Raul is gonna day sooner or later, as well, and what?l; but among Castro’s family there are a lot of people very able to do the same thing, and over and over…  Why not? 

A real change and STOP from outside is all what Cuba needs and deserves, but the American government is not hurry, never was and never will be.

On August 13, 2009, john wrote:

When the individual in question is no longer physically available as living proof of existance; the only alternative is to hastily produce photographic, audio, written and video material in vain attempts to prove all is well.
Eighty three years is good old age to achieve by any standard, and one would think Fidel would use it to his advantage in propoganda,‘defence of the revolution’ blah de blah.
One would also think Raul would be proud to be seen with, and congratulate his elder brother in public at this time?
Perhaps the Cuban goverment electrical power restrictions have accidentally shut down Fidel’s life support machinery? How ironic.

On August 13, 2009, john wrote:

Perhaps the Cuban government are preparing Cuba for the death of Fidel Castro, and not the world?

On August 13, 2009, Jamie York wrote:

No, I don’t think Cuba is preparing the world for when Castro dies.  Anyone on the planet who follows Cuba knows that he is in poor health and, like each of us humans, he will one day die.  There is nothing to be gained by trying to “prepare” anyone for the obvious.  Castro has said for years that he wanted to write when he retired and that is exactly what he is doing.  I can hardly wait to read his memoirs, as I am sure it will be worthy of the great statesman he is.

On August 14, 2009, mfquevedok wrote:

“I can hardly wait to read his memoirs, as I am sure it will be worthy of the great statesman he is.” 

It’s amazing!  What kind of memories you think he’s able to write a political player:

1. A monster who takes full part in a personal game or sport.
2. A person who plays politic like a bastard musical instrument.
3. A creepy actor.
4. A blah, blah, blah…etc.

Memories in order to say what?  More craps?

On August 14, 2009, publisher wrote:

I have to wonder why the Pastors for Peace article was released in several news stories today instead of on July 31 when the photo was taken. Why was the news released on Fidel’s birthday and seeming after I wrote this article?

I get Castro and Cuba news all day long and I did not see any of the Pastors for Peace articles. Just coincidence I suppose.

Anyway, here’s three of articles saying how healthy Fidel is right now…

US pastor: Fidel Castro, 83 on Thursday, looked strong, animated in July 31 meeting in Havana

Fidel Castro turns 83 with economy on his mind

As CastroTurns 83, Cuba Caught Between Past, Future

So why wait two weeks to release this news? This is as good as the Cuban government can do for Fidel’s birthday?

On August 14, 2009, TimS wrote:

Fidel Dead or alive, he is a lost sole. The cruelty he has demonstrated on the Cuban people is unforgivable, but don’t expect him too admit to anything, he will die a marter in his Own eyes. He has lived in a Fantasy world for decades, thinking the way he rules is the the just/correct/only way, He has manipulated the masses and made them like a step child who loves their abuser. He is a Radical, tyrranical ruler that should have been over taken long ago, by people that understand he has not been of stable mind for years. His control and manipulation will be fodor for books, but not his words the words of Civil people who understand Peace, Prosperity and Free will. Things that Fidel will never know, but hopefully the Cuban people will come to enjoy, when Finally Fidel is set to rest. May God have mercy on his sole.

On August 14, 2009, john wrote:

Again, photographs, second hand hearsay and so-called scribbling’s are no substitute for live personal or live televison appearance.
Why the unnecessary delay in ‘Pastors’ photos? (tnx Publisher)
Why no jingoism at this milestone? (perhaps yearstone!)

‘Statesmanship’ is great achievement with wholehearted co-operation of the people who voted the ‘statesman’ in office.
‘Dictators Diaries’ are not best sellers, they are always a tad one-sided.

On August 14, 2009, John J Young wrote:

Many of us want to help a strugging Cuban people. our organization transported humanitarian aid to them for 15 years (primarily from Key West) beginning in 1991.

Our idealized attempt became an international “hornet’s nest”! We were so unsophisticated in our ideals! The players in this included a number of US/Cuba government officials, party-boaters, traffickers of all persuasions, pro/anti-Castro fanatics, and on and on. Nine-tenths of our contacts were desperate, dear Cuban people.

We did everything we could to be above the political brouhaha. No luck. The Cuban government said they knew who needed aid the most. The US government said they knew that any outside aid was only going to the families of bureaucrats! 

Then the GWBush Administration put the kibosh on our operation: They agreed that transporting aid was legit (utilizing the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control)  but utilizing vessels from the US required another governmental license: a permit from the Department of Commerce allowing US boats to go to and return from Cuba. Gotcha’! The US bureaucracy went into a stall issuing licenses. The process kept the politicians in charge.

So, coming up to date, credibly: we (“do-gooders”) realized that there was no identifying sides in madness: good guys, bad guys, etc. (“Is Castro Bad?” “Is Castro Good?”, etc.)

Our policy has been to keep the aid flowing, discretely, with whomever was willing to drop off goods on that island to the Cuban people in need. A “trip-on-the-lark” is essential. If you get a chance to get down there, visit the kids in the parks or gyms. Scheme to learn the real situation. Keep your operation clandestine.

Our approach led to:

“Dump and Run”. Always, always, your eye’s on substantiating that the aid reaches the poorest. Never, never,  hanging on to the money-changers, leeches, the sadly desperate. And most of the kindest citizens are desperate beyond belief!

Churches seem to be most successful in handling the goods. But “Dump and Run”! Don’t get attached to any one pious clergyman or saintly nun: They also have desperate families and friends! And, remember, Cuban people have become snitches on themselves! A Cuban lady I knew was accused of buying a kilo of sugar from a friend of hers. It was a scam. The Cuban lady was fined but had to admit knowing “foreigners”. The jig was up!!

Sorry for all the background dirt. Presently, any involvement with the Cuban government is precarious for any outsiders. Any opinions of the various constituencies is jaded. You do what you think best and move on.

Our contention is that aid must, MUST, get to the people. We beg so many of you, that any efforts to assist Cuba (I should say: “the Cuban people”) must be personal. “Dump and Run!” Avoid making “friendships”, “soul-mates”, “contacts”. If you begin knowing names and addresses, you might as well hang it up. You’ll be reported to the “authorities”. It’s guaranteed. JJY

On August 14, 2009, John McAuliff wrote:


You are to be congratulated for the diversity of your readership.  So far the comment makers tend more to the devil than savior interpretation of Fidel.  For historical context they might want to read what appeared in the English press after the American Revolution. 

There remain analogues in the Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodian refugee communities, especially among political leaders whose power in part derives from stoking the fires of resentment and nostalgia.  However, they do not control US policy and, as with Cuban Americans, do not represent predominant sentiments.  More significant are those who regularly visit their homeland, send remittances, invest in small and large enterprises, and increasingly choose to retire there.

Re your comment,
“I don’t agree. We love our freedom and democracy and I don’t think it’s wrong to want to export that to Cuba.”

It is not wrong to aspire; it is wrong and counterproductive to try to export. 

First one must be realistic about what our democracy consists of.  I cut my political teeth in the civil rights movement in the south.  Until very recently citizens of the US were denied the right to vote because of race and suffered many forms of discrimination.  In a way, it was even worse that the rest of the country knew of and tolerated gross forms of discrimination, not to mention practiced its own subtler forms of prejudice, including in housing and employment.

We also have a history of political repression when our system feels threatened, in the last century the Palmer Raids, Japanese internment, McCarthyism, etc.  Then we can look at the last Administration which came to power as the result of a Supreme Court coup and proceeded to shred fundamental Constitutional rights after 9/11. 

I have been a Democratic Party activist much of my life and treasure our freedoms of speech, assembly and competitive elections.  But I am also aware of the disproportionate role that money, concentrated power, and high tech psychological manipulation play in our democratic choices.

I see many problems in Cuba’s system of government and economy, and frankly discuss my views with friends there, as they do their perspective on the US.  However we cannot escape the reality of history.  Every time the US intervened in Latin American, it was justified by democratic rhetoric, including in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti, Granada and Panama.  There is well documented evidence that we were largely motivated by economic and security self-interest.  We have a disgraceful history of colluding with some of the most outrageously oppressive regimes in the Hemisphere.  (These are the reasons the rest of the Hemisphere disagree so strongly with our Cuba policy and are uneasy with the ambiguity of our response to the Honduras coup.)

Our original role in Cuba was justified as freeing the country from Spanish colonialism, but most Cubans feel we hijacked their long painful independence struggle, imposed our racial prejudices and made them a neo-colony via the Platt Amendment which lives on in the unequal treaty that gives us control of Guantanamo.  Our role before the 1959 revolution led to foreign domination of Cuba’s economy and a heavy hand in its politics.  Since the revolution we have used every form of intervention imaginable to impose our interests, not least the embargo. 

Some dissidents and bloggers no doubt are true patriots, committed to a free and independent Cuba.  Others presumably have less noble agendas.  In any case, they are entitled to the same rights of free speech and assembly as everyone else in the world.  However, many opponents of rulers face denial at least as grave as in Cuba, including by countries with which the US is closely allied or at least enjoys normal diplomatic and economic relations. 

Inescapably dissidents and hostile bloggers are seen as intentional or unconscious agents of the overwhelmingly powerful neighbor.  The more they are lionized here, the more certain is the conviction in Cuba that they are tools and allies of their enemy and the more subject they are to control and repression.  We all make compromises with our ideals in order to have an effect on the circumstances in which we find ourselves.  People whose standing outside their culture and country is disproportionate to their role inside can be misled as to their personal importance and power and lose touch with what really matters to bring about internal change.

As I wrote in my first post, the way to achieve space for Cuba as a country and Cubans as people is to back off, to try to overcome a tendency especially pervasive in big and powerful countries, regardless of ideology, to think their values and practices are naturally and inherently superior.  Fittingly we can do far more to expand freedom in Cuba by expanding it here. 

John McAuliff
Fund for Reconciliation and Development

On August 14, 2009, mfquevedok wrote:

DO NOT be naive!  Freedom of speech and assembly in order to do what?  To express than love and respect is the most important in life and blah, blah, blah, as usual.  Any of you needs to teach all Cuban of meaning of democracy, respect, freedom and the most important be allow to have DREAMS and go for them.    Freedom of speech and assembly are craps/words if you don’t have power to do something real; and power are money, resources, relationship and a lot of things than any normal Cuban has.  A Cuban in Cuba is practically an almost homeless. All leaders and reach families ran far away on 60’s.  So, who remain in Cuba with real power able to force the government changes? 

Make a clever blog is practically bullshit.  Meet people talking a sharing ideas is crap as well.  You don’t do anything!!!!!  That is my point.

On August 14, 2009, mfquevedok wrote:

The Cuban people in Cuba is into a complete painful isolation and weakness.  Who in Cuba is able to do something real and very able to convulse the whole nation, as an earthquake? 

Now Raul is saying they are trying to make the Socialism more perfect than before and that effort requires full and more cooperation of everyone.  What a shame after 50 years of sacrifice, patient and fake hope of my people!

On August 14, 2009, kathleen san juan wrote:

Fidel could not last one week without appering in front of a crowd of adoring fans.  How could he last fr more than two years????  He lived for birthdays, National holidays like 26 July.

It is inconceivable that this megalomaniac would never ONCE appear on television.  He used to speak for hours and hours, and every tv set in the country would carry his speech and nothing but his speech.

You are all saying he is alive and able to sit and chat with every foreign leader who drops by,but his ego for some reason just suddenly stopped needing to be fed by the adoring crowds of Cuban people.  I do not buy it.  An old dog doesnt change his only trick. 

El Jefe inhaled the cheers and applause of the crowds the way the rest of us inhale air.  Did the crowds cheer out of love or fear?Well, megalomaniacs are not typically riddled with self-doubt. 

One of my Jan predictions was the funeral of Fidel….not the death.  And I believe the casket will be open!

On August 15, 2009, publisher wrote:

Thanks to all for your comments. Chavez just got back from meeting with Fidel.

President Hugo Chavez said Friday he found his close ally and mentor Fidel Castro in good health during a visit to Cuba to celebrate the Cuban leader’s 83rd birthday.

Chavez says they shared a cake. He says he also gave Castro Venezuelan products including chocolate and sardines, and two charcoal drawings: one of Venezuelan independence hero Francisco de Miranda, and a second of Cuban hero Jose Marti.

He said Castro “is in absolute use of his mental faculties.”

“You know what the imperialists say,” Chavez said. “Some say that Fidel is crazy. ... They create rumors.”

On August 15, 2009, John wrote:

What a relief! now we can sleep easy after such an honest statement from the dependable, trusted Mr Chavez.
What? no birthday photo of the compos mentis Castro and the corpulent Chavez enjoying their cake together? Such a missed opportunty for both.
Oh well, perhaps we can wait for a live performance next birthday.

On August 17, 2009, Yolanda Diaz wrote:

mfquevedok, are you Cuban? Did you ever live in Cuba? the reason I wander is that you seem to be the “exception” as not many exiled Cubans feels the way you do. Castro has destroyed Cuba, period..Cuba at one time had nothing to envy any developed country..we had good education, good medical care, good transportation, good entertainment, a great culture…and, like ALL countries, there was always a section of the population that had, why are you saying “get over it”? We will never get over it because once a Cuban, always a Cuban. Maybe not in living there, but in our hearts, minds and our souls…and yes, Cuba before Fidel was a grand place to be from.

On August 17, 2009, mfquevedok wrote:

Ms Yolanda, why are you asking me that?  What did I say you disagree? 
I didn’t make an apology to Cuban government!  But… if I did it, let me know my comment # .

Yes I’m Cuban was born and grew up into Cuba, neither USA, nor any country.
So, I know a lot about Cuba, and it’s not because I read, though,  or someone told me.  But, in addition, I’m much more than that; reason I don’t feel part of exiled. 

AFTER vs BEFORE, so and so on it’s very boring target, and worst about Cuba years ago.  50 years bullshitting around this subject!  To do it is as easy as creepy/useless because the people always make inventions.

What happened is done and period.  The future is the real point.

On August 20, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Too bad Rob, I guess you will to pray a lot harder. Even if he was dead I don’t think you will be able to set up buisiness in Cuba as easy as you think. Maybee he is just moving off into the sunset to leave the governing to his successors as you have criticized him for overshadowing Raul before.

On August 20, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Nice to see another good exchange of opinions.

In my opinion FC is still alive, ....unfortunately.
However for those who said that it does not matter, I can assure you that at least in Cuba it matters and a lot.
In Cuba FC is the real power. He is like the farmer that owns a large farm (the whole country). Nothing is done in Cuba without Fidel Castro’s aproval. You may like it or not but that is a fact. Unfortunately again, the way I see things, that would continue until his death. So I hope that the natural solution comes rather sooner than later.
Only at that point Cubans would be able to work together for a better and more prosperous Cuba.
I want to mention that I do not live in Miami or consider myself part of the hard line, however I, like many young and old Cubans, feel very proud to be Cuban and consider that it is very important to have into consideration that indeed Cuba was a great country where to live before Castro and an important new immigrant’s destination until and including 1959. The immigration only stopped and for obvious reasons after Castro took power.

On August 20, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

Nice to see another good exchange of opinions.

In my opinion FC is still alive, ....unfortunately.
However for those who said that it does not matter, I can assure you that at least in Cuba it matters and a lot.
In Cuba FC is the real power. He is like the farmer that owns a large farm (the whole country). Nothing is done in Cuba without Fidel Castro’s aproval. You may like it or not but that is a fact. Unfortunately again, the way I see things, the brake would continue there and nothing would change until his death. So I hope that the natural solution comes rather sooner than later.
Only at that point Cubans would be able to work together for a better and more prosperous Cuba.
I want to mention that I do not live in Miami or consider myself part of the hard line, however I, like many young and old Cubans, feel very proud to be Cuban and consider that it is very important to have into consideration that indeed Cuba was a great country where to live before Castro and an important new immigrant’s destination until and including 1959. The immigration only stopped and for obvious reasons after Castro took power.

On August 20, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

Yeyo, nice to see you are still alive. I know you don’t live in Miami but I think you are still wrong about Fidel. I think that maybee his absolute control of Cuba is waining and he will more and more slip into the background and Cuba will evolve as all countries do eventually. His death will mean little to change the direction or evolution of the Cuban government.  Even the U.S. and Canada are evolving into something different than we know today. Hopefully it will be for the better, but we have little or no control over that. Another country has no authority, moral or otherwise to dictate what form of government exists in a country other than it’s own. I don’t believe you when you say that you think Cuba was a great place to live before 1959. If so,I think you are living your life with blinders on if you believe that. We schould all wish a better life for all Cubans or even all people on this earth. We can only hope that the people that have the power to make change for the better a reality, do so.

On August 20, 2009, john wrote:

The death of fidel Castro will be the single most important factor for positive change in Cuba. Guaranteed.
‘Cuban government evolution’? please explain.
Foreign government involvement notwithstanding;HUMAN RIGHTS COME FIRST
The future of Cuba and the wonderful, intelligent, peaceful Cuban people is extremely favorable.
Why is everyone looking at the darkside?
The new beginning is here. The whole world will soon become ‘aware’ of Cuba once again!

On August 21, 2009, john wrote:

Oh, and by the way, the Cuban American hardliners are soon to be totally disregarded, if they have not already.
Once the momentum begins; business, free trade, investment in infractructure, imporovement in housing, farming (without Ox), shipping, Agriculture, medicine, education, open tourism, banking, etc, the list goes on.
The potential is HUGE.
Exploitation and over-development is not the question; the possibility of
“All boats float on a rising tide” is the future reality for Cuba.

On August 21, 2009, TimS wrote:

It seems to me that alot of the people on here dont believe that FC’s death could/would change Cuba. I’m not sure, it may change the way Cubans look at their own future, and what Might/Could/May be, if they had a chance, so dont count out, or give up on the younger generation nor the tired ones that Want more in the way of Technology, Opportunity and Freedom to express without reprocussions. Who knows even Raul may have a change of Heart when Big Bro isnt there to scold him for making things better for the Cuban people.
I am a Christian myself. Is FC and his Family Catholic, Christian or of another faith ? I guess I assumed that(most Cubans) were believers in Christ. If this is the case, Anything is possible when people believe in God/Good. We can only Hope and Pray that the people of Cuba Demand a better life, thru Freedom, Thru Christ, Thru the end of Communistic ways. Be it by Death of FC or Salvation thru Christ to get things going. “The sooner the better”.
  I do see some people on here do not believe change in Cuba will happen in their life time, that is sad. Either way, the Cuban people MUST know that they have the support of former Cubans living in US and support from all Free people in the US and from around the World. Freedom is a Beautiful thing, the ability to have a Bright future Must be ingrained in the minds of All the people of Cuba and Must be supported by the good people on God’s earth that understand it is an essential part of living, To be FREE !
Again I am a Christian that believes God/Good will prevail, An American/ Floridian who cares about Cuba and its people, and a father raising a Family in the eyes of the Lord, Thats understands To Believe is to be saved, and Nothing and Nobody can take that from any of us. Do not take your eyes off the prize, For if and when you do, You too will be defeated, by yourself with no help from FC, BELIEVE and It WILL.

On August 21, 2009, John wrote:

The Cuban people are quietly, patiently waiting for Castro to die.
It would be unwise and unhealthy to speak out before he is gone.
The real shouting has yet to begin.
A quiet before the storm…......

On August 26, 2009, Juan M. Gonzalez wrote:

As far as the religious conviction, both King Fifo and Prince Raul are committed ATHEISTS.  Some have also stated that they practice or play with santeria.  The Cuban 1976 Constitution declared that Cuba was an Atheist country and that was the official position of the Cuban monarchy until the Pope announced that he planned to visit Cuba.  The King even authorized the Cuban people to celebrate Christmas for the first time since the mid-60’s to appease the Pope.  The following year, the King decided that Christmas was again banned and following year authorized Christmas again, later to just take it away since. So the belief of TimS is misguided at best, not knowing this.

On August 26, 2009, Yolanda wrote:

Fellow commentators, it is my opinion that the “caballo” Castro is alive, although not necessarily well. After all, he is an old man. My comments about things will never be the same is just that, plain and simple. How could it be? Cuba has a different culture now and its people (the younger generation) have known only the miserable existence that they have had. No religion, no voting in a democratic fashion, not able to own anything as it all belongs to the “state”. That was my point. There is no incentive to work hard, save your $ and own your home, your car, send your children to higher education, etc.. and of course, the food rationing..oh my, that is catastrophic for Cubans as we all loved to eat and have our feasts during the “las navidades”..and there is the matter of free speech. That is what I meant by “what difference does it make?” for the only ones who will see a difference for the best will be the new generation after “el caballo” is gone. I know for sure where he will be then. It won’t be heaven next to God, that is for sure…whether anyone agrees with me or not. I’m entitled to my opinion. I’m 65yrs. old and lived thru the beginning of the end for Cubans who had nothing to fear as long as one led a law abiding, decent life in the 50’s. You may not agree, but I feel what I feel.

On August 28, 2009, Yolanda Diaz wrote:

Tim S & Juan, regarding your comments about religion in Cuba and the Castro brothers, they both went to the Belen School where the males in my family went also. It was a very prestigious boys’ school ran by the Catholic church in Cuba. Most of them were “interns”, living in dormitories.
Tim S, also as you, I am a Christian, however, I left the Catholic religion years ago as the more I read the “good book” (Bible), the more I realized that there were things that I did not agree with. For instance, baptizing babies. Babies are born without sin, although we all have the “original” sin of Adam & Eve. What I’m trying to say is, babies have no evil thoughts, are not immoral, basically, they are withouth “sin”. It is when one gets older that sin gets in the way of “godly” living. That is why at age 65 I am looking to be baptized again; this time as an adult. Acknowledging my sins, asking for forgiveness and sinning NO MORE! which is how I have been living my life when I realized that I needed improvement in order to be in God’s good grace. You seem to be a Christian in the total content. I guess we will not be seeing the Castro brothers, Che, etc. when we go to be with God..let’s pray we can continue in the right path.

On August 28, 2009, john wrote:

And your point is?

On August 29, 2009, Yolanda Diaz wrote:

On Fri August 28, 2009, john wrote:  And your point is?

john, see Post #44 by Juan -re: Castro brothers being Atheists, although they did have a Christian Catholic upbringing…

My answer was:
“I guess we will not be seeing the Castro brothers, Che, etc. when we go to be with God..let’s pray we can continue in the right path.”

On September 25, 2009, john wrote:

Perhaps assassinitation efforts by the CIA (or anyone!) should now be directed at Raul Castro. The Cuban people deserve an end NOW to the misery heaped on them by these disfunctional despots.