On the couch
To those of us who keep an eye on Cuban affairs from afar, the following comes as no surprise: as Fidel Castro approaches 80, the old man is showing obvious signs of senility.
This becomes all too obvious when Castro gives one of his speeches to the faithful or on his regular television appearances. But for some strange reason, it is an observation that rarely finds its way into the international news reports that emanate from foreign correspondents in Cuba. Strange.
An exception is a feature story written for The Daily Telegraph in London by Phillip Hart, reporting on the regime’s celebrations of the 26 of July. It's a very good read, which you can find here.
In his report, Hart writes: “Signs of Fidel Castro's mortality are increasingly evident. In Bayamo, he fumbled with his notes, lost his train of thought, and, voice straining, abruptly wrapped up his paean to the wonders of the Cuban economy after little more than two hours — a duration that verges on the concise for a man who used to regularly deliver seven-hour rants.”
Hart made other interesting observations, including his take on what ordinary Cubans (or those he managed to speak to freely) think about life after Castro. He quotes a 47 year old artist, identified only as Lucia, as saying: "We still say ‘if Fidel dies' rather than ‘when’ … I think of him like an abusive father. He has often treated us badly, but he's still the only father I've known. I'm no fan of Fidel, but I will miss him when he's gone."
I am no psychologist (phew!) but it sounds to me as a very serious case of codependency, don't you think?