Saturday, October 28, 2006

Is Fidel Castro Dead?

According to Brazil's leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, he is. But perhaps Lula misspoke. Lula expressed disappointment that Castro had not implemented a "democratic opening" in Cuba. "I am a lover of the Cuban revolution," Lula said in an interview with the Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo. "I only regret that Fidel Castro did not carry out a process of political opening while he was alive," Lula added.Some reporters have dismissed the statement as a slip of the tongue. But not everyone is sure. Since mid-September, Cuban media have not released any pictures or videos of the ailing communist dictator. "I think what he said is that he thinks; he thinks that Fidel is dying," A Miami news outlet quoted author and political analyst Carlos Alberto Montaner as saying. The TV station also cited Dr. Manuel Cereijo, an analyst on Castro and Cuba. Cereijo noted Brazil's close ties with Cuba and suggested Lula may know more than he is telling about Castro's condition. "I think that Fidel is very ill and probably he has undergone a second surgery," Montaner said.