Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Brian Latell, the former CIA analyst and author of “After Fidel: The Inside Story of Castro’s Regime and Cuba’s Next Leader”, has been interviewed by Newsweek on developments on the island over the past few months.

Among other questions, Mr Latell was asked for his opinion of the recent “editorial” supposedly written by Fidel Castro in which the dictator gives sketchy details of his current state of health.

Mr Latell’s conclusion: Castro remains gravely ill.

“It’s not cancer as many of us thought initially, but whatever caused the bleeding that necessitated the first surgery could happen again,” he says.

“I wonder whether he is preparing the Cuban elites and the Cuban people for the other shoe to drop, possibly on July 26.

“The other shoe could be another statement that he or his brother Raul would utter at a mass event on July 26, in which he would announce his permanent abdication from power.”

So, here is a prediction: Castro will retain the purely ceremonial position of president of the Council of State as well as Comandante en Jefe, but will give up his other posts to his brother Raul, who will become head of the Communist Party, and to technocrat Carlos Lage, who will become president of the Council of Ministers.

Then again … like all good Cubans, I reserve the right to change my mind. Again.


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