Cuba: Is Fidel dead yet?

The first time I was in England I heard a phrase, sure as rain (that stuck with me, since it was raining), which means something will certainly occur.

Sure as rain, rumors that Fidel Castro is dead are coming up again. For Latin America watchers, this is routine, happening at intervals over the years. In fact, I was nearly certain Fidel had bought the farm years ago – and then Castro imported from Spain an oncologic gastroenterologist with full surgical team and state-of-the-art operating room equipment, something that would surely only be done for the comandante máximo.

So much for that “free, excellent Cuban healthcare” propaganda. Propaganda doesn’t cut it when the rubber hits the road.

Or when the patient needs real surgery.

My favorite line on Fidel’s health was from Person of Interest:

Mr. Reese: Fidel Castro is dead?
Mr. Finch: Fidel Castro is dead, and his body double has cancer.

Yesterday the rumors were flaring again, with many people pointing out that Fidel has not been seen in public for over a year, and he or his amanuensis have remained silent over Obama’s December 17 statement, while in the past Granma (the official organ of the Communist party and sole legal newspaper) carried heavily verbose opinion articles by Fidel on nearly every topic.

The only thing I know for sure is that the Cuban government has scheduled some announcement, subject unknown, for later today.

Of course there’s a twitter hashtag running amok: #fidelcastromuerto (fidel castro dead). I like this tweet in Italian,
Is he dead, or has he resurrected again?

However, a friend figures that, even if Fidel is dead now, there won’t be an announcement made until after a big pow-wow scheduled for early Spring, which Obama may attend, while Fidel’s funeral will be a bigger show than Mandela’s, and it would distract from much anything else.

Let’s hope they have better luck with the sign language interpreter.

Likewise, any such announcement will be timed for a slow-news day, and right now all the world’s attention is on France.

I’ll be extremely surprised if any such announcement comes today.

Years ago I posted in my blog that I’ll believe Fidel’s dead after a CSI team from the U.S. and the EU release official, audited, uncensored autopsy results.

Until then, I suggest they get Chevy Chase to do the talking, and, while they’re at it, make sure they’re not talking about Fidel Castro Odinga from Nairobi.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.