Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Castro: Not Quite Dead

Rumors of Fidel Castro’s imminent demise are flying around once again. In this case, a Spanish doctor who came to Havana was reported to have said that he had diverticulitis. That same doctor quickly claimed that he was not the source of the report. This story has become more about the media than anything else. For example, CNN’s resident talking head doctor wrote a column thanking all the reporters for their work in giving him just enough grist to continue speculating wildly about Castro’s condition. Repeating rumors is an essential role for a free press.

What amuses me the most is this: since last August, when he admitted having health problems, we have learned almost exactly nothing. All our best government intelligence, reporting, and speculation leads us to the following conclusions: he is an 80 year old guy with a serious intestinal problem, and that’s just not good for his long-term chances.

I think Castro may have the record for most times 1) diagnosed with a serious illness and 2) diagnosed as dead because he happened to take a one day vacation.


Anonymous,  3:19 PM  

The management of Castro's illness by the Cuban government is a joke. This is typical Soviet-era "discreet" disclosure of health issues. They don't want to report what is really wrong with the guy because they know all hell will break loose if he is in fact terminal. That should tell us all we need to know about the respect the Cuban people have for Castro's bullpen.

Castro has ruled by fear for 50 years. He has starved the Cuban people, both literally and figuratively. In my opinion he can't die fast enough.

Greg Weeks 3:56 PM  

Don't be too hasty. The transfer of daily authority to Raul went very smoothly. Obviously, we don't know what will happen, but I am not convinced that all hell will automatically break loose. This is being planned pretty carefully.

Anonymous,  6:20 PM  

Repeating rumors is an essential role for a free press.

Good one.

Greg Weeks 11:25 AM  

And what's so crazy is that CNN was patting itself on the back for its excellence in rumor mongering.

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