Monday, August 27, 2007

Castro death watch - part 35

Rumors swirled this week that the Cuban government would finally announce the death of longtime caudillo Fidel Castro. Frantic phone calls to Cuban exiles in Miami signaled that, perhaps this time, the dictator was pushing up daisies, and the announcement was going to come at "any hour". The deadlines came and went without any such announcement, and finally, Castro's Venezuelan lapdog Hugo Chávez cryptically announced that Fidel would "never die". Perhaps in response to the rumors, an article purportedly written by Castro with an August 25th byline was published in a Cuban communist youth newspaper.

Conspiracy theorists continue to spread the rumor that Fidel has, in fact, died already, shortly after he disappeared from public view last year for intestinal surgery. I'm not one to buy into such theories, but Fidel's continued public absence and the secretive nature of communist dictatorships makes these sorts of rumors inevitable. When will the next batch of rumors swirl? Probably next month, but until then, Cuba remains in a grim holding pattern waiting to rejoin the free world.

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