Wednesday, August 02, 2006

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.
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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How typical of totalitarian regimes: keep your own people in the dark. treat them like mushcrooms.

7:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find your balanced approach a breath of fresh air.

7:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're now been away too long from your country to feel crearly what's going on there

8:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Realmente no nos hemos detenido a pensar la noticia,ni siquiera hemos pensado de acuerdo con la lógica del sistema de gobierno cubano. La estrategia de ocultación de la salud de Fidel es bien conocida.

Sólo existen dos causas posibles para la publicación de este proceso. La primera es que Fidel no puede desaparecer por un par de meses en las circunstancias actuales; su cumpleaños ochenta y la Cumbre de los No Alineados son actividades que demandan su presencia de frmainexorable. La otra causa probable es que, además de la enfermedad y la operación, este delegar pueda ser un ensayo sobre una posible vía de suceción.

En todo caso es muy complicado. No existe un sistema institucional en Cuba con autonomía para que funcione la maquinaria social de ese país. No hay una burocracia intermedia al márgen de la realidad política del líder, todo lo que nos lleva a pensar en caos.

9:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pense que este blog estaba escrito en español.... acaso estos son cubanos los que escriben aquí???? para quienes escriben????

Sigo sin entender.

4:24 am  
Blogger Pieri said...

Aunque ya no vivas en tu país resulta interesante leer la opinión de un cubano sobre Fidel y la coyuntura de Cuba. Además el nombre de tu sitio no podría ser más preciso.

5:42 am  
Anonymous rjp said...

What's so surprising abou this behavior?
In his shoes, I would not tell the world any news either " por si acaso".

11:20 am  

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