So, Fidel Castro may or may not be near death …
According to rumours doing the rounds in Havana, the celebrations held across the island this week to mark the dictator’s 81st birthday may turn out to be not so much a party as a wake.
Then again, we’ve all heard the rumours before, haven’t we?
Luckily for us, the rumour-mongering has not stopped the editors of the official Cuban media from trying to outdo each other once again in dreaming up ever-more outlandish titles to bestow on Castro on his birthday.
As in previous years, thousands of words and dozens of photographs have been published in official papers big and small praising the humanity and absolute genius of the man who has ruled Cuba with an iron fist for close to half a century.
The official newspaper of the Communist Party, Granma, which two years ago compared Castro to the sun, has opted to describe him this time around as “A Giant Among Titans”.
Not to be outdone, the editors of Juventud Rebelde, the official organ of the Cuban Union of Communist Youth, have given him the title of “The Comandante of A Thousand Battles and A Million Triumphs”.
But let’s hear it for the hard-working editorial staff at Trabajadores, the newspaper of the official Communist Party-controlled Trade Union Council. Without even a hint of embarrassment, they have anointed Castro “The Untiring Gladiator of Truth”.