Still under doctors’ care a day after surgery, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro yesterday reportedly said his health is “stable,” but “I cannot make up positive news.”
Well, since when can’t the leader of a totalitarian police state make up positive news? Since that operation for “intestinal bleeding”? Something serious is up.
“As for my spirits, I feel perfectly fine,” the tyrant said, according to a statement read on Cuban Communist-run television.
Everyone work. Castro called on the Cuban people to remain calm and continue their regular business, which I guess means don’t try to overthrow the government while I’m sick and don’t miss work on the Castro slave plantation.
“The country is prepared for its defense,” Communist TV said for Castro. “Everyone needs to struggle, and work.”
Translation: I’ve paid the police and army enough to kill you if you make a move for the National Assembly Building.
Guards at the gates. Castro’s goofy brother, Raul, has been placed in charge of the dictatorship while Castro’s health is evaluated. Castro’s longtime boot-licking lackey Ricardo Alarcon, the “parliament speaker,” is keeping an eye out for trouble, too.
The situation is reminiscent of the novel “Havana Bay,” in which a safe and healthy Castro lures everyone to think he’s in trouble just to see who would jump first to seize the government. (Then Castro drops the ax.)
But this chain of events feels different. I think Castro is dying, and he’ll be lucky to last a year.
View from the Malecon. On the Malecon, Havana’s seawall, Cubans are looking north this morning and thinking about how much closer they suddenly are to their cousins in America. They’re also looking at themselves with new hope.
They’re wondering how soon their families can reunite, and how soon they’ll be free. Yes, something serious is up.