Monday, August 27, 2007


Fidel Castro, columnist

Many years ago (1979 if I recall correctly) I went to Cuba during a brief period when it was legal for Americans to do so (after the Supreme Court ruled that an outright ban was an unconstitutional restriction on American's right to travel, and before laws accomplished the same thing by using "trading with the enemy" to make it illegal to spent money in Cuba). During a stopover in Miami airport, the "news" came out that a firefight had broken out in the Presidential Palace in Havana, and Raul had shot and killed Fidel (or something like that, anyway).

As a result, I rarely even notice rumors of Fidel Castro's death, and wouldn't have bothered to comment on the latest round, which swept Miami a couple days ago, and now, thanks to the need to give Wolf Blitzer and other "newspeople" on the 24-hour channels something to talk about, the rest of the country as well. But what amused me, and prompts me to write, was CNN's conclusion that it was highly significant, and a possible ploy by the Cuban government, that Cuban newspapers had published a column by Fidel after the appearance of this rumor, presumably a ploy to dispel the rumors (with the unspoken implication that it might also have been a way to cover up Fidel's death).

Just one little detail CNN neglected to mention. Fidel Castro has published 43 essays (columns) since late April, eight in August alone. The vast majority have been on timely topics (i.e., not possibly written in advance).

If you want to look for evidence of Fidel's declining health, look for the disappearance of his periodic columns, not their appearance. Sheesh.

Why stop here? There's more...

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