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Fidel Castro: Cyber Deathwatch Begins on Internet
The National Ledger ^ | Aug. 1, 2006 | John David Powell

Posted on 08/01/2006 2:20:14 PM PDT by John David Powell

Fidel Castro: Cyber Deathwatch Begins on Internet

By John David Powell Aug. 1, 2006

The call from my friend Oscar came as I dozed in front of the television. “Are you watching Univision or Telemundo?” he asked.

I told him I was dozing, and asked him what was going on. He told me that the Spanish-language stations had just announced that Cuba’s Fidel Castro was undergoing surgery and had turned over power to his brother Raul.

“They’re already dancing in the streets in Miami. The old son-of-a-bitch may already be dead. Wasn’t Stalin dead for a week before they told anyone?”

Oscar and his family have been in this country for more than forty years, but his ties to Cuba remain strong, partly because he has family still in Havana. He remembers watching the Playa Girón, or Bay of Pigs, invasion from his apartment window. He retells stories of the installation of anti-aircraft guns on the top of his apartment building. On rare occasions, he shows the home movie he took as Castro and his band of thugs entered Havana.

He shares snippets of Cuba’s past, how Cuban women sold their jewelry to bail out a bankrupt Continental Army, how the Chinese played a major role in Cuban history and culture.

He has no patience for those he terms useful idiots who wear t-shirts bearing the face of Che Guevara, the cowardly murderer of children and the darling of the pretentious and ill-educated left. He ridicules those who speak in glowing terms about Cuba’s healthcare system, whose doctors are no more than paramedics or physician assistants. He politely endures stories from those who visit Cuba and boast about how much one can buy for a single Yankee dollar and ask if he ever went to the Buena Vista Social Club.

He longs for a return of the luster of the jewel of the Caribbean.

My friend Oscar is not alone. The Internet provides outlets for countless supporters of a free Cuba, millions of dreamers anxious in their wait to awake from their collective nightmare.

And today, the first day of August, just a week before Castro’s eightieth birthday, the blogosphere is afire with news and rumors, along with hope and speculation for Cuba’s next chapter. An Internet search narrowed for Cuba, Castro, and blogs returns 1.9 million hits.

The Blog for Cuba (http://blogforcuba.typepad.com) could be the blog of blogs, with links to more than sixty anti-Castro news and blog sites. Today’s entry, “While We Wait”, includes photographs of death, destruction, and despair.

Abajo Fidel (www.abajofidel.blogspot.com) provides Internet radio links and scatological steam letting, along with Drudge-like headlines:

“Medical advise from a reputable cuban gastro doctor from texas...Fidel castro may have had a gastric ulcer or bleeding through the colon area.. At at that age it is very difficult for him to survive but not impossible.. Even if he does survive he may have great additional complications......Developing......”

Oscar frequents the Babalu Blog (www.babalublog.com). Today’s posts provide no news but a lot of rumor:

“As you can imagine, rumors are rampant right now within circles of the Cuban-American community. Ive heard that there was one person who witnessed the bearded bastard die personally. Of course, I cant cofirm the validity of that report. Nor, I suspect, will we be able to confirm any report of any kind regarding this issue. the Cuban government is holding all the cards on this right now. Im getting emails from folks who have been in contact with family in Cuba, most of which saying that there's an eerie silence in the island and most family members are apprehensive about discussing the events via telephone with family abroad for fear of reprisals.”

The Real Cuba (www.therealcuba.com) takes a more traditional approach by providing video clips of the latest news and links to historic documents regarding Castro and the United States.

The Miami Herald is the defacto paper of record for news about Cuba. As expected from a professional news outlet, its blog (http://blogs.herald.com/cuban_connection) offers a journalistic approach to news and information, one that is not fueled by speculation, and therefore, much less entertaining, than, say Independent Sources (http://independentsources.com/2006/07/11/fidel-castro-dead/) that provides a picture of Daisy Fuentes laughing in the surf.

Such are Cubans as they live their lives while they wait for death.

John David Powell is a six-time winner of the Houston Press Club Lone Star Award for Internet Opinion Writing, a communication professional, and a contributor to the Christian History Project. His email address is johndavidpowell@yahoo.com


TOPICS: Cuba; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: blogs; castro; cuba; deathwatch; raul
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1 posted on 08/01/2006 2:20:15 PM PDT by John David Powell
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To: John David Powell

Death Pool anyone?


2 posted on 08/01/2006 2:21:56 PM PDT by bmwcyle (Only stupid people would vote for McCain, Warner, Hagle, Snowe, Graham, or any RINO)
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To: John David Powell

They should see our coverage lol


3 posted on 08/01/2006 2:22:31 PM PDT by GeronL (http://www.mises.org/story/1975)
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To: John David Powell

I bet it's to much to hope for that Raul is better person than Fidel..............


4 posted on 08/01/2006 2:23:52 PM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: bmwcyle

The Franco Death Pool or a real one?


5 posted on 08/01/2006 2:24:05 PM PDT by VanShuyten (One of my hungry and forebearing friends was sounding in the bows just before me.)
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To: bmwcyle

What's the over/under ?


6 posted on 08/01/2006 2:24:16 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: John David Powell

The only thing that could make it better is, as the doctor puts him under he announces "I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn last night but I am an American military doctor".


7 posted on 08/01/2006 2:24:54 PM PDT by cripplecreek (If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?)
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To: John David Powell

About 1 1/2 hours ago our local radio station was reporting he was dead and that folks in Miami were honking horns in celebration. Fox has shown the honking. CNN says White House doesn't believe he's dead.


8 posted on 08/01/2006 2:24:59 PM PDT by mtbopfuyn (I think the border is kind of an artificial barrier - San Antonio councilwoman Patti Radle)
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To: John David Powell
I absolutely do not understand all the celebration. He's turned power over to his ruthless brother, Raul. Are things suddenly going to get better? Is he some kind of reformer? Will the communist state end in the near future?

Don't think so.

9 posted on 08/01/2006 2:25:00 PM PDT by mikeus_maximus (Hey George! Read OUR lips: Build the wall!)
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To: John David Powell

Hopefully dictators will follow the Hollywood rule of 3 and two more of these guys will croak in short order.


10 posted on 08/01/2006 2:25:07 PM PDT by RS ("I took the drugs because I liked them and I found excuses to take them, so I'm not weaseling.")
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To: John David Powell

I hope that the murdering bastard dies.


11 posted on 08/01/2006 2:25:15 PM PDT by sport (cognizes)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Someone needs to call Vegas.


12 posted on 08/01/2006 2:25:22 PM PDT by bmwcyle (Only stupid people would vote for McCain, Warner, Hagle, Snowe, Graham, or any RINO)
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To: bmwcyle

An October Surprise for me - October 29, 2006


13 posted on 08/01/2006 2:25:38 PM PDT by VanShuyten (One of my hungry and forebearing friends was sounding in the bows just before me.)
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To: John David Powell

So if he dies. Fingers crossed. What next? Raul runs the show.

What changes?

The people there have not risen up yet. We wont invade.
I hear there are plans. But what are they?



14 posted on 08/01/2006 2:25:41 PM PDT by Names Ash Housewares
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To: bmwcyle
He's not "dead."


15 posted on 08/01/2006 2:25:47 PM PDT by Boss_Jim_Gettys (Willing to compromise...NOT)
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To: Sunshine Sister

Raul carried out atrocities for Fidel. He was the stick to Fidel's carrot in some cases. He would be no better as far as I understand.


16 posted on 08/01/2006 2:26:27 PM PDT by Ingtar (Prensa dos para el inglÚs)
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To: Boss_Jim_Gettys

'E's pinin' for the fjords!


17 posted on 08/01/2006 2:27:10 PM PDT by nina0113
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To: John David Powell
Go Death!


18 posted on 08/01/2006 2:27:45 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: Boss_Jim_Gettys

We can only hope he has bleeding passed on.


19 posted on 08/01/2006 2:28:16 PM PDT by bmwcyle (Only stupid people would vote for McCain, Warner, Hagle, Snowe, Graham, or any RINO)
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To: dead

perfect!!!!!!


20 posted on 08/01/2006 2:28:46 PM PDT by bmwcyle (Only stupid people would vote for McCain, Warner, Hagle, Snowe, Graham, or any RINO)
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To: Sunshine Sister
I bet it's to much to hope for that Raul is better person than Fidel..............

I expect a bloodbath when he finally is announced to be dead.

21 posted on 08/01/2006 2:29:11 PM PDT by HIDEK6
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To: John David Powell
Will Fidel die more times than Pope John Paul or Yassar Arafat, or Saddam Hussein?

Saddam was killed 3 times before we finally captured him.

Yassar died a dozen times before they finally did bury him.

===

I believe it was when Ronald Reagan or Bob Hope died, comedian Phyllis Diller was being interviewed on CNN. She laughed at them, because they had run her obit on their website.
22 posted on 08/01/2006 2:29:36 PM PDT by TomGuy
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To: John David Powell
He longs for a return of the luster of the jewel of the Caribbean.

Cuba was messed up before Castro came along, and of course is even worse now. It will take a lot of effort to turn it into a good place after he is gone.

23 posted on 08/01/2006 2:30:52 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: mikeus_maximus
I absolutely do not understand all the celebration.

One less communist dictator scumbag will walk the earth. That’s reason enough.

He's turned power over to his ruthless brother, Raul. Are things suddenly going to get better? Is he some kind of reformer? Will the communist state end in the near future?

The wishful thinking is that Raul does not have the ability to maintain the cult of personality that has allowed his brother to survive in office for 48 years. Fidel’s death will open the door to rebellion and, eventually, to freedom.

24 posted on 08/01/2006 2:31:08 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: bmwcyle

Don't break out the Champagne yet, folks.

Of one thing in life you can be sure: The Devil takes care of His own.


25 posted on 08/01/2006 2:32:12 PM PDT by DieHard the Hunter (I am the Chieftain of my Clan. I bow to nobody. Get out of my way.)
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To: John David Powell
Is the evil old Bast*** dead yet? Even my very liberal niece was cheering for castro to meet satan today! The sooner the better.
26 posted on 08/01/2006 2:32:28 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: Moonman62
Cuba was messed up before Castro came along, and of course is even worse now. It will take a lot of effort to turn it into a good place after he is gone

Turn it back to me. I'll have it whipped into shape in a week!

27 posted on 08/01/2006 2:33:59 PM PDT by Don Corleone (Leave the gun..take the cannoli)
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To: bmwcyle
I'll take 30 July 2006.
28 posted on 08/01/2006 2:34:00 PM PDT by msnimje (Uni-FAIL - UN peace keeping force in Lebanon has lived up to its name.)
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To: bmwcyle

I will have to check my online betting site and see if they have anything about Castro... you can bet on just about anything else, that's for sure!

My wife got a $5 sports book bet tokin after making a $25 deposit into a poker room, and she has that account up to $119 from betting Nascar!


29 posted on 08/01/2006 2:35:22 PM PDT by AzNASCARfan
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To: John David Powell
About a week or two ago there were reports that Castro had died. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I haven't seen him make a public appearance since then. Is it possible that Castro DID die a while ago and this surgury is a set-up to break the news slowly and make the transition of power to Castro's brother smooth?

(I'm not a conspiracy theorist really! I'm just curious if anyone thinks this might be possible?)

30 posted on 08/01/2006 2:36:04 PM PDT by The Blitherer ("I left orders to be awakened at any time...even if I'm in a cabinet meeting." -Ronald Reagan)
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To: The Blitherer

I believe he has assumed room temperature.


31 posted on 08/01/2006 2:38:49 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde
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To: cripplecreek
Too bad this isn't Castro's doctor.

"Wanna know something? I'm a bad doctor. I'm not boasting. I mean, who would? Just stating a fact that I've never really gotten the hang of the whole healing-the-sick thing. And don't interpret this as some sort of false modesty. No, I'm homogeneously unqualified to practice medicine in any capacity. I *really* don't have a clue. And no one could be more shocked than me that I've been allowed to rise to a position of such importance and responsibility."

"But I don't worry about it. I figure, how far can you coast on charm? Well, pretty far, actually!"

32 posted on 08/01/2006 2:39:49 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Sunshine Sister

Raul and Ché were bigger commies than Fidel. However, Fidel had the charisma.


33 posted on 08/01/2006 2:39:53 PM PDT by Sans-Culotte (I hereby re-christen the Republican Party as "The Flaccid Party")
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To: John David Powell

If federal funding of fetal stem cell research had been permitted by the Bush administration, Fidel Castro would still be walking. < /sarc >


34 posted on 08/01/2006 2:41:32 PM PDT by weegee (Remember the Baby Milk Factory)
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To: John David Powell

Osama and Fidel are alive, and Elvis is dead. There is no justice.


35 posted on 08/01/2006 2:43:04 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie
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To: Sunshine Sister

I was just talking to my friend whose husband is of Cuban descent (his parents immigrated to the US before Castro was in power). Anyway, we were talking about this very thing and she shook her head and said she didn't think anything would change under Raul, as he was a communist just like his brother and they were cut from the same cloth.

susie


36 posted on 08/01/2006 2:44:50 PM PDT by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
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To: mikeus_maximus

They're probably just happy to imagine him getting his final just desserts.
susie


37 posted on 08/01/2006 2:45:48 PM PDT by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
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To: bmwcyle

I want 6 August, 3:00 PM. This is just like one of those "where's the cow gonna poop?" lotteries only even more exciting...


38 posted on 08/01/2006 2:49:55 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: John David Powell
Fidel castro may have had a gastric ulcer or bleeding through the colon area.. At at that age it is very difficult for him to survive but not impossible.. Even if he does survive he may have great additional complications...

Like pain. Lots of pain. A bit of karmic justice for all of the political prisoners in Castro's jails who suffered hot pokers and/or electric prods in their colons.

39 posted on 08/01/2006 2:51:48 PM PDT by Veto! (Opinions freely dispensed as advice)
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To: John David Powell


This just in; Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.
40 posted on 08/01/2006 2:55:23 PM PDT by Stultis (I don't worry about the war turning into "Vietnam" in Iraq; I worry about it doing so in Congress.)
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To: Moonman62

Within 5 years it will be like pre 1959 Cuba but with the internet. Good time to buy MGM, Harrah and Ventetian. They are going to build some real mega casinos there. Good time not to be involved with Sun Casinos.

No unions, no regs, very low taxes, this is the stuff that casino co's long for!


41 posted on 08/01/2006 2:56:58 PM PDT by appeal2
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To: Moonman62

Cuba was NOT all that messed up before Castro. It was the wealthiest country in the Caribbean by far, and possibly the wealthiest of all Latin countries anywhere. They had a real middle class.

The education and health systems were excellent--Castro's just taken credit for what was in place long before the "glorious revolution." In 1958 Cuba imported more automobiles than any other Latin country. A quick look at the 1958 Havana phone book will show you thousands of businesses listed, large and small. Today there are NO businesses...no Yellow Pages in fact. Starting a business there is ILLEGAL and will land you in jail. You cannot even grow a sweet potato and sell it to your neighbor without going to jail if caught.

Today, there are MORE prostitutes in Havana than in the Batista days because there are no other places for women to work (and guys too) unless they're lucky enough to have a job at a hotel, which pays $7 per week. Castro collects $50 per week from the foreign hotel company per worker...pockets $43. Batista was NEVER that crazy or cruel.

And as for those gangsters....today every hotel in Havana claims to have been owned by those glamorous gangsters, and you can see photo exchibits on the walls of lobbies and bars featuring the gangsters and movie stars .....they're a big tourist attraction.

Once freed from oppression, the Cuban people will bounce back in a very big hurry. Count on it.


42 posted on 08/01/2006 3:02:17 PM PDT by Veto! (Opinions freely dispensed as advice)
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To: John David Powell

I want to go on record as having nothing to do with this.....although I think it's cool.


43 posted on 08/01/2006 3:02:56 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by fleeing the scene of an accident)
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To: mikeus_maximus
I absolutely do not understand all the celebration. He's turned power over to his ruthless brother, Raul. Are things suddenly going to get better? Is he some kind of reformer? Will the communist state end in the near future? Don't think so

I think the celebrations have more to do with simple hope than any realization that things are going to change as soon as Fidel assumes room temperature.

After all, this is the closest we've come in 40+ years in getting rid of the bastard and seeing at least the possiblity of change in Cuba.
44 posted on 08/01/2006 3:03:03 PM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Get off my lawn!)
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To: John David Powell

If this slimebag is finally dead, how is the US going to handle this? I read the press release today by the State dept, Sean McCormack, saying the majority of Cubans are for freedom (oh except for Elian) and that we "will help in anyway to support the Cuban people in their transition to democracy"... How though? First off we will have to deal with the Hollywood liberal cabal that will be shrieking like banshees at the demise of their God and cocaine connection, surely screaming that the ultimate insult to their God would be for Cuba to go the freedom route. Then we would have to deal with Fidels brother, Jimmy Carter, and that guy Raul Castro...Would it be another Bay of Pigs or send in a few Rangers? After all, there is no Khrushchev anymore, only Danny Glover.


45 posted on 08/01/2006 3:03:12 PM PDT by Screamname (Batman and Godzilla : When will they fight?)
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To: John David Powell

What's Castro's brother like?


46 posted on 08/01/2006 3:03:15 PM PDT by nmh
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To: Names Ash Housewares

Raul is a ripe 75. His tenure as dictator thug will not be long.


47 posted on 08/01/2006 3:07:14 PM PDT by rod1
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To: John David Powell
Hugo Chavez, paging Hugo Chavez. Your order of Depends and first class ticket to Teheran are available for pickup at this time!
48 posted on 08/01/2006 3:07:51 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: Boss_Jim_Gettys
I like the Monty Python skit, but I also like the schtick from the Princess Bride:

Inigo Montoya:
He's dead. He can't talk.

Miracle Max:
Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.

Inigo Montoya:
What's that?

Miracle Max:
Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

49 posted on 08/01/2006 3:08:34 PM PDT by dawn53
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To: John David Powell

When this guy finally croaks, it will be interesting to see which heads-of-state attend the funeral (besides Jimmah, of course).


50 posted on 08/01/2006 3:09:47 PM PDT by Lando Lincoln (For what cause would a liberal go to war? (Revolutions don't count))
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