The rumours that won't go away
Those rumours about Fidel Castro’s death continue to surface, especially on the blogsphere.
In fact, it’s almost impossible to ignore them. But could they be true?
Is it really possible that the man who has ruled Cuba with an iron fist for the past 48 years has died in recent days but the news is being suppressed for now because of political or other reasons?
I mean it’s not as if the Castro regime has ever been what you’d call a paragon of openness and transparency …
And I grant you that we have not seen photographs or video of Castro in his fetching Adidas tracksuit for weeks, not even to mark the celebrations surrounding the 26th of July.
Still, if the 81-year-old dictator had indeed kicked the bucket over the weekend, surely his departure would be known to quite a few people in Havana, wouldn't it? Like his brother Raul, for instance, and the top echelons of the armed forces. And the Communist Party bosses. The medical team. Even Castro's large family.
How long would it take for such news to leak out, even in a place like Cuba?
Not too long, I suspect. So, for what it’s worth, my take is that the rumours of a death are premature.
Of course, this is not to say that Castro is recovering. On the contrary. We would have heard about it otherwise.
More telling is the fact that not even that goose Hugo Chavez talks about recovery any more, and Cuban officials such as the smarmy Ricardo Alarcon have stopped telling foreign correspondent that Castro’s return to office is imminent.
Dead or almost dead, the era of Castro I is over.
Photo: Enrique de la Osa, Reuters