Skip to comments.Castro bows out of yet another major Cuban event
Posted on 07/25/2007 3:54:04 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
HAVANA (Reuters) - Convalescing Cuban leader Fidel Castro has bowed out of Thursday's Revolution Day festivities, with his stand-in and brother, Raul Castro, to speak in his place, the government said on Wednesday.
"Raul will speak tomorrow" blared a red banner headline of the Communist party newspaper Granma.
The news was hardly a surprise to most Cubans and foreign observers as Fidel Castro has repeatedly failed to appear in public since undergoing the first of a series of intestinal operations a year ago.
"We'll be waiting for him. If Fidel can't make it, who better than Raul to be here," said Norma Iglesias, a teacher in the central town of Camaguey where this year's festivities marking the launch of Castro's revolution are taking place.
Castro has traditionally delivered a state of the union style speech on July 26 in the province deemed to have been the most socially and economically successful each year.
The date marks a 1953 assault on a military barracks that failed but nevertheless led to the formation of Castro's revolutionary movement, which toppled dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959.
Castro, who turns 81 next month, has not made a public appearance since his illness, although he has written a series of editorial columns in the state-run media. Recent videos broadcast on television of him being interviewed and meeting foreign allies have shown him looking stronger.
Castro's last public appearance was on July 26 last year in eastern Holguin province. Five days later, he temporarily ceded power to Raul Castro, who remains at the head of the government.
The younger Castro, 76, has seemingly managed his first year in office with little difficulty, though expectations he would reform one of the most centralized state-dominated economies in the world have so far proved unfounded.
Fidel Castro's exact condition and whereabouts remain state secrets and the balance of power between the brothers is also shrouded in secrecy.
"Raul Castro's style is different -- no long speeches, no middle-of-the-night meetings, open criticism of economic performance and demands for results," said Phil Peters, a Cuba expert at the Virginia-based Lexington Institute policy group.
"But he is respecting his interim role. As a result, his policy preferences won't be known until Fidel leaves the scene."
That also appeared to be the perspective of some of the Castro brothers' contemporaries in Camaguey on Wednesday.
"In the end, Raul will bring Fidel's message to Camagueyans and that's how we will receive him," retiree Roberto Garcia said in a telephone interview.
A photograph of Cuba's President Fidel Castro hangs from a balcony in Havana, Wednesday, July 25, 2007. Raul Castro will give the Revolution Day address on Thursday, the latest sign the defense minister's yearlong caretaker role is becoming much more permanent. Cuba will celebrate the 54th anniversary of the assault on the Moncada military barracks in Santiago de Cuba commanded by Fidel Castro against Fulgencio Batista on July 26, 1953. (AP Photo/ Rodrigo Abd) (AP Photo/ Rodrigo Abd)
Castro bows out of yet another major Cuban event
because he is dead. Hello Reuters, AP, Helllloooooo..
Katie, ya want an exclusive? He’s dead.
A vintage car stands parked near a grafitti of late rebel hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara on a street in Havana July 24, 2007. Cuba will celebrate the 54th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada military barracks led by Fidel Castro during the Fulgencio Batista regime in 1953 on July 26. Rumours that Castro might reappear, a year after emergency surgery forced him to hand over power, have swirled ahead of several anniversary events in Cuba's revolutionary calendar over the past year, but each time he has stayed away. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa (CUBA)
“It’s worse than that, he’s dead Jim”.
Have said for a long time he is dead. Only when Raul has completed his consolidation of power will the announcement be made.
Raul’s no spring chicken himself. What happens when he finally assumes room temperature?
All hell breaks loose.
Raul won’t last six months when his brother finally joins Arafat and Saddam in hell. The infighting within Cuba’s ruling class will begin before Castro is cold.
Those classic cars won’t remain in Cuba for long either after freedom is restored....
Weekend at Bernie’s comes to mind.