Hay Que Revolver la Mierda
What's wrong with Fidel Castro? Nobody knows for sure but the odds are that he is very seriously sick. The Herald Sun quotes a US diplomatic source in Havana: "Drew Blakeney, the spokesman for the US Interests Section -- the closest thing Havana has to an American embassy -- said the consensus emerging was that Castro was terminally ill and would not return to power." The blog Inside Surgery tries to cobble together a speculative diagnosis based on tidbits of press information.
Although none of the editors of Insidesurgery are participating in the care of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, we are following with interesting the cryptic news releases coming out of the country. Undoubtedly vague and misleading on purpose, there are a few things we can comment and conjecture on, based on official reports from the Cuban government.
... the overall prognosis is in doubt, based on the condition necessitating the surgery, rather than the surgery itself. This would most likely point to a malignancy, where many patients have "successful surgery" but do not have surgical cures. ... "Stress has forced (Castro) into surgery." There are a few surgical conditions that can be worsened by stress possibly, although the role of stress in exacerbating these conditions is debatable. ...
The current trend in post-operative care is to ambulate patients as soon as possible. In the biggest abdominal operations done on patients (liver transplants, pancreas resections, aneurysm repairs) every effort is made to get people out of bed in the first day or two. So, it is hard to imagine what surgery would keep Castro in bed for several weeks if he was not at a terminal stage of his life. There is something suspicious going on here. If Castro had some non-life threatening condition, why would the authorities not simply say that he had a perforated peptic ulcer which was successfully repaired and that the recovery time would be a week? My guess - Castro has widely metastatic colon cancer and will be dead in the next several weeks without ever regaining control of the country.
Fausta's blog has a roundup of the Castro death rumors. Given his age the only uncertain part about the rumors is the date. When Castro finally leaves the stage what happens next? Peggy Noonan suggests going to Cuba and having a party.
What to do now?
How about this: Treat it as an opportunity. Use the change of facts to announce a change of course. Declare the old way over. Declare a new U.S.-Cuban relationship, blow open the doors of commerce and human interaction, allow American investment and tourism, mix it up, reach out one by one and person by person to the people of Cuba. "Flood the zone." Flood it with incipient prosperity and the insinuation of democratic values. Let Castroism drown in it.
Raul Castro, Fidel's 75 year old younger brother may have other ideas. He may not like to party. That's probably why there's still some residual tension implied in the President's words, "We will support you in your effort to build a transitional government in Cuba committed to democracy, and we will take note of those, in the current Cuban regime, who obstruct your desire for a free Cuba". Heck, with North Korea, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Somalia, Venezuela and Iraq all perking up one more won't matter.