A note from Elian and friends
But we are told that Castro the Elder is doing well, nearly a week after Cubans were told he had undergone delicate surgery.
How do we know Castro is doing well? Why, that’s what his pal Hugo Chavez says. The president of Venezuela, who is bankrolling the Cuban economy much the same way the Soviets used to in the good old days, says he has “reliable” information that his mentor (and client) is undergoing a “quick and notable recuperation." As you would expect.
Meanwhile, the Cuban official media (there is no other type) has gone into over-drive with messages of support and get well missives from around the world.
Famous Cuban entertainers such as Pablo Milanes have featured on the front page of Granma, the official paper, wishing Castro well. Milanes, who should know better, says he is ready to represent and defend Castro against any “provocation”. He made his comments while on his way overseas, where he spends much of his time nowadays. Lucky Pablo.
Same with Silvio Rodriguez, another famous Castroite composer, who told Granma he’d happily give his life for El Comandante en Jefe. I think he is serious - keep it in mind next time you spend some of your hard-earned dollars to buy one of his CDs. You can read the messages in Spanish here.
But the propaganda coup of the week must surely be the supposedly unprompted message from Elian Gonzalez. The boy who set off a major diplomatic incident between Castro and the US some years back has apparently penned his own Get Well card, addressed to “my dear grandfather Fidel”. The letter, published on the front page of the Union of Communist Youth's weekly newspaper, Juventud Rebelde, is signed by Elian and all of his half-brothers and half-sisters. You can read it here.