Friday, December 01, 2006

Managing expectations again

As you may recall, I have blogged previously on how the Cuban regime continues to manage expectations about the health of Fidel Castro and his likely return to the top job.

Like most things to do with politics on the Communist island, it’s all part of a carefully orchestrated plan designed to keep Cubans in the dark, uncertain about the future and suspicious of change.

The latest and most intriguing instalment comes in an interview given to Reuters by Mariela Castro Espin, the daughter of Raul Castro and a favourite of Western correspondents in Havana.

Castro Espin, who heads Cuba’s centre for sexual research, said that her uncle Fidel “was still fragile” after emergency surgery four months ago for serious intestinal bleeding.

She said that while “she had no inside knowledge” her view was that “illness and age would prevent Castro from coming back as the full-blown leader of Cuba”.

"My impression as an ordinary Cuban is that we are going to have him in another role, as the wise 80-year-old leader that now is going to take care of himself," she said.

Of course, there is nothing “spontaneous” about the interview, just as there is nothing “ordinary” about Castro Espin.

Read the interview here.


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