Thursday, August 03, 2006

CUBA, CASTRO CORPSE WATCH: Situation On The Ground, Leadership, Key Links

We know Fidel is sick, according to the Miami Herald Many are asking: Where's Raúl Castro? He has not appeared in a couple of days. Does this possibly mean that Fidel still holds the reins and does not want Raul appearing just yet? Or is Fidel so far gone that the Communist Party leaders are paralyzed, not knowing what to announce just yet?


Ricardo Alarcon
says Fidel is alive and alert, Castro's exiled sister says he has left intensive care, and is doing better. On CNN this morning, she did say something to the effect that he was "very sick". The printed edition of the Miami Herald had Alarcon saying Castro's sickness was a "serious matter".

Fidel Said To Be Recovering
, But unfortunately Havana will not be rockin' 'to Fidel's Birthday Party which was cancelled says the Guardian.

In Havana, there is a consensus that "Castro is Terminally Ill", according to the Miami Herald.

The Castro Dead Pool Gamblers' odds don't favor Fidel in the Miami Herald says that on-line betting sites are taking wagers on Fidel's impending demise. First up, whether or not he makes a public appearance by a certain date.

Fidel Castro allegedly announces via a statement, that his Health is a State Secret. Internal analysts, expected Fidel to actually announce a permanent hand over of power in second press release.

Mauricio Vincent El Pais correspondent in Cuba, in an online chat, Name given to the theory, among skeptical Cubans, that Fidel is not deadly ill, and doing this as a dress rehearsal to see what the reaction is: Operation Empty Coffin

The Cuban equivalent of the draft board (and or the selective service), has called its registered youth, after news of the sickness broke out, according to Cubanet. If I read that correctly it means they are basically trying to get ahold of everyone registered of age, get their addresses, to put them on standby, the first phase of mobililzation.

Spanish-based exiles are cautious

Welcome To Miami.......Not!...
Best News in 47 Years, say some Cuban exiles in Miami, other exiles gather around the Versailles to await further news from Cuba in this ABC Article. Exiles' generation gap closes in Miami Younger Cuban and Cuban-Americans joined their elders in the spontaneous outpouring.

But, Herald columnist, Fred Grim says, Miami reaction to Castro news loud, premature, finds humor in it, On the streets of Miami, the reaction to an old despot's ''acute intestinal crisis'' bears a disconcerting resemblance to the aftermath of an NBA championship secured back on June 20. Go Heat. Goodbye Fidel.

While the spontaneous explosion of joy in Miami is a great story, the real story of Castro's sickness and succession, is being played out within the silent workings of the Cuban Communist Party, and the wound-up population of the Island. On the surface, the mainstream U.S. and Miami media, have given us precious little information.

This is a must-read article by Jon Lee Anderson CASTRO’S LAST BATTLE Can the revolution outlive its leader? from the New Yorker. A view from someone who has been on the ground in Cuba, and has talked to many of the players involved.

What Happens After Castro, by Duncan Campbell, one of the Guardians Latin American correspondents

In The National Review, former DOD analyst, Mario Loyola Is Castro Dead? Mojitos all around! And brace for the hangover breaks down the main players and chances of success of all of them.

Reuters, Cuban Communism Looks Beyond Castro

Andress Oppenheimer speaks to Cuban dissidents in the Island, Hostile words play into Castro's hands, they are concerned about potential U.S. government and politicians statements. [M]any Cubans on the island, bombarded by the regime's propaganda machine, still believe they are potential victims of a U.S. threat. That's why hostile noises from Washington, or from Miami politicians seeking headlines ahead of the November elections, play into Castro's hands.

Nothing Will Be the Same, Dissidents in Cuba speak to Spanish paper ABC, say that even if Castro gets better, that the dynamics have changed permanently.

Living In The Island, Living With Him El Mundo from Spain, describes how Fidel dominates every corner of existence in the island.

Raul Castro, Fidel's Shadow, quotes Raul on his 2001 statement saying that normalizing relations with the US was possible. This Revolution Is Eternal Raul the Ruthless, who had opponents executed, and then well into the revolution personally oversaw the execution of former friends. Raul has little credibility within top leadership, lower cadres and abroad. Raul is destined to die in exile in Caracas, according to the author. Horacio Vazquez Rial. Today's Miami Herald also looks at divided opinions on Raul