In the dark. Again.
Cubans on the island are being kept in the dark. Again.
While the rest of the world watched events unfolding in Havana with a mixture of fascination and amazement, there was virtually no news inside Cuba about Fidel Castro’s state of health for a whole 24 hours. And Cubans have now been told not to expect any updates any time soon. If ever. Castro’s health is now officially a State secret.
The first announcement, supposedly signed by Castro from his sickbed, was read out by his official secretary on Monday night, Cuban time, on national television. The fact that the dictator was transferring all of his powers to the anointed successor, his slightly younger brother Raul, for the first time ever set off a wave of speculation around much of the world.
And then nothing for a whole day. No pictures of a recovering Castro, no appearances by the newly-enthroned Raul (temporarily, of course), no official statement from the top.
Then on Tuesday night, the presenter of a nightly television program called Mesa Redonda (Round Table) tells viewers that the program has just spoken to the Commander in Chief, who is presumably in a recovery ward somewhere in Havana. Bizarre? Welcome to Cuba, pal.
The presenter then proceeded to read a brief statement from Castro, which you can read here in Spanish. In the statement, the nearly-80—year-old said he didn’t want to “invent” good news because this would be unethical (stop laughing, please). Equally, he didn’t want to impart bad news because this would only help “the enemy”, before adding: “My spirits are fine … The situation is stable.” But it will take some time to know “the verdict”.
Then the clincher. Referring to the United States as “the Empire”, Castro is supposed to have decreed that from now on, his state of health would become a secreto de Estado – a State secret – in order to thwart those nasty, evil Americans.
In the dark.