Friday, November 03, 2006

A medical report

You know that spooky video of Fidel Castro standing up and pretending to speak on the telephone that was aired on Cuban television last week?

The footage was interpreted by many outside the island as a desperate attempt by the regime to assure Cubans that while the 80 year old dictator was still sick, he was very much alive and on his way back.

Well, that may have been the intention. If so, it doesn’t seem to have worked.

There is an interesting take on the footage in The Miami Herald and associated papers today that is probably closer to the truth.

The article quotes Dr. Charles Gerson, a gastroenterologist at Mount Sinai in New York, explaining the obvious: the extended recovery time suggests a very serious illness, such as cancer.

"Usually for a benign condition, if you have surgery, after a month or six weeks you are back to normal," Dr Gerson said. "Three months after surgery, he should be better."

The article also quotes an unnamed former US government official saying that Castro is indeed seriously ill and “may not make it through the new year”.

Maybe. As they say on the box, only time will tell.


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