Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Havana interpretations

The charade continues in Havana.

Just days after Fidel Castro was unanimously "nominated" as a delegate to the rubber stamp National Assembly, there are reports today that the ailing dictator, who has not been seen in public for 18 months, may be about to "retire".

The reports follow a letter read on national television in which Castro "hinted" for the first time, we are told, that he may be about to give up his many and varied titles and positions.

At least that's the way his comments have been interpreted by international news agencies, such as Reuters.

For the record, what Castro actually said was this: "My elemental duty is not to hold on to positions and less to obstruct the path of younger people".

Which may or may not be a hint that he may or may not retire from public life. And retire to do what? A life of reading, fishing and gardening? Macrame, perhaps? Highly unlikely. Unless the man is truly near death or under strong pressure from within to step aside once and for all, it's not in Castro's nature (or style) to retire. That's why he has been in power since 1959.

In any case, would "retirement" mean a change in direction politically and economically for the nation he has controlled with an iron fist for close to half a century?

We shall see.


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